Eating wholesome meals is one of the top ways to manage mental health issues, especially depression. Along with medications and therapy, the right foods play a vital role in keeping the symptoms in check. Some foods affect blood sugar levels and inflammation in the body, which, in turn, impacts overall energy levels and mood. So, it’s important to eat right. This article lists a few foods to eat and avoid to manage depressive symptoms.
Foods to eat
- Brazil nuts
These tree nuts have a smooth and buttery texture, and the nutty flavor makes them perfect for eating raw or blanched. These nuts are an excellent source of selenium, and they also help lower inflammation in the body. These factors help treat anxiety and improve mood, which is highly beneficial for people with depression.
- Fatty fish
Salmon, tuna, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are some of the popular oily fish that pack a bunch of health benefits. They are rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which help improve depressive symptoms. Omega-3 fats are also essential to improve brain function and lower the risk of mood disorders.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries add a pop of color and much-needed flavor to a bowl of cereal or yogurt. Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants and help prevent free radical damage. This prevents oxidative stress and lowers the risk of anxiety and depression.
- Leafy green veggies
Leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and kale must be included in regular meals. Adding these to stir-fries or salads can significantly help manage depression symptoms as they are rich in vitamin B and folate. These nutrients maintain the health of the nervous system and help reduce the risk of mood disorders.
Foods to avoid
- Safflower oil
It’s best to avoid using this oil for cooking as it has high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. These refined and saturated fats impact heart and brain health.
- Pies and pasties
These foods are made from refined flour and sugar, which means they’re high in calories but have low nutritional value. So, they cause energy levels to instantly shoot up and then crash down, affecting mood and aggravating depressive symptoms.
Sausages are made from processed meat, which harms physical as well as mental health. It is best to avoid the intake of processed meats or at least limit their consumption in regular meals.
Dark chocolate can boost mood, but other kinds of chocolate are similar to refined foods. A bar of chocolate will instantly shoot up blood glucose levels, followed by a crashing of energy levels soon after. This is detrimental to mood and can worsen the symptoms of depression.
Depression is known to be linked to another mental illness called schizophrenia, a serious mental condition whose cause remains unknown. It is associated with positive symptoms like delusions, disorganized speech, abnormal behavior and emotions, inability to start things and follow through, and attention impairment. On the other hand, a schizophrenia patient experiences negative symptoms such as lack of emotion and not paying attention to personal hygiene. There is no cure for this condition, but certain medicines can help in alleviating the symptoms.
This medicine contains an active ingredient called brexpiprazole, which is used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). REXULTI is not an antidepressant but works like one. It is approved for adult use, but it can increase the risk of developing suicidal thoughts in people who are 24 years or younger.
Thorazine contains chlorpromazine, which helps treat manic phase of bipolar disorder, severe behavioral problems in children, and psychotic conditions. This medicine can reduce aggression, hallucinations, and the desire to inflict self-harm.
This contains fluphenazine, which belongs to a class of medication known as phenothiazines. It is also referred to as a neuroleptic. Prolixin is helpful in reducing delusions, hallucinations, and abnormal behavior, which are common symptoms of schizophrenia.
Some doctors suggest Caplyta as a relief option for schizophrenia in adults. It’s an FDA-approved medication that works by inducing affection-signaling chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate, thereby improving schizophrenia symptoms involving mood, thoughts, and behaviors. Note that the medication may cause side effects like dry mouth and sleepiness, among others. Caplyta comes in the form of a capsule and is usually taken once per day.
Latuda® (lurasidone HCl)
Latuda is an antibiotic for managing depression and schizophrenia-associated with bipolar disorder. It may reduce hallucinations and make one think clearly. Latuda could also improve mood, sleep, and appetite levels. This antidepressant can increase the risk of death in older people with dementia-related psychosis. Latuda may also increase suicidal thoughts in children and teens. Other potential side-effects are stroke, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), tardive dyskinesia, hyperglycemia, diabetes, weight gain, hyperprolactinemia, seizures, low white blood cell count, orthostatic hypotension, mania or hypomania, and uncontrollable body temperature.
Cariprazine is an antibiotic used for managing episodes of depression in individuals with bipolar disorder. It is also used to treat schizophrenia in adults. Cariprazine belongs to the atypical antipsychotics class and works by altering the activity of certain natural substances in the brain. Follow your doctor’s advice for dosage instructions.