Dietician Susan Moores of the American Dietetics Association says you can alter your mood by changing what foods you eat. "When people eat better they feel better, and there is a definite role for a healthful diet when someone is suffering from depression," says Moore. She cautions against low-carb diets for depressed people, and recommends these seven healthy foods: salmon and mackerel, canola oil, spinach and fresh peas, chickpeas, chicken and turkey.
Choosing a healthy variety of food and not just focusing on one nutrient is crucial, says Moores.
"When people eat better they feel better, and there is a definite role for a healthful diet when someone is suffering from depression.
Good nutrition won't pull you out of depression, but it is a piece of the puzzle for managing depression."
"Carbohydrates are linked to serotonin production and lack of carbohydrates may cause changes in mood," she says.
Here, a list of foods that contain nutrients that might help stabilize your mood.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon and mackerel are great dinner options no matter what your health concern.
Some studies have shown that people who suffer from depression also have lower levels of the antioxidant vitamin E, according to Moores.
So, though oil is high in fat and should be consumed in strict moderation, canola oil is rich in vitamin E. (The USDA recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons, or 24 grams, of oils each day.) Try substituting canola oil for vegetable oil when you're sauteing that salmon for a healthy dinner.
Dark green vegetables like spinach and peas are high in folate, which may help stabilize your mood because it's needed to help make serotonin.
Keep in mind that canned peas have diminished nutrients, so try to use fresh or frozen peas whenever you can.
For a nutrition boost, add peas to your tuna salad, or build your dinner salad with spinach instead of lettuce.
Also high in folate these low fat, high-protein legumes are a nutritious alternative for people who don't eat meat, and a delicious addition to any diet.
Chicken and turkey are both rich in vitamin B6, which plays a role in serotonin production in the body.
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