Many of my clients came to seek my help as they have been fed up with the traditional Western approach that at the core focuses on symptom reduction and medication management.
According to David Wolfe, celebrity life and health coach, there are 8 foods that fight depression - see link below for more information:
Research shows that diet high on potassium can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. For example, average avocado contains as much as 975 mg of potassium. According to another article https://mentalhealthfood.net/the-power-of-potassium/ "Low potassium levels have been associated with greater risk for mood disturbances and depression. A 2008 study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” examined the relationship between potassium and mood, and found that a high-potassium diet helped to relieve symptoms of depression and tension among study subjects. These findings suggest both that potassium may be useful in the treatment of mood disturbances and that low potassium levels may be linked to symptoms of depression."
As a "chocoholic" this makes me happy. Dark chocolate helps reduce the levels of stress hormone, Cortisol. This doesn't mean you can eat as much chocolate as possible as you don't want to develop other illnesses, such as diabetes. It's also important to make sure that you consume as high levels of cocoa as possible, and watch for added sugars. Ingredients in cocoa also help you to be calmer and more relaxed.
Spinach contains the most folic acid of all dark green leafy vegetables. Why is this important? According to David Wolfe, low levels of folic acid have been linked to depression. Another reason is that spinach can even improve functioning of anti-depressants.
Asparagus also has high levels of folic acid. It helps in the prevention of a build-up of certain amino acid (homocysteine) so that it wouldn't interfere with the production of "feel good hormones" including Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine.
Another article, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164291/ reports that "it is known that elevated serum homocysteine, decreased folate, and low vitamin B12 serum levels are associated with poor cognitive function, cognitive decline, and dementia. Current literature shows that some psychiatric disorders, mainly affective and psychotic ones, can be related to the levels of vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine." In my personal experience when my functional medicine doctor prescribed me vitamin B12 supplements my mood has increased quiet a bit along with exercise.
Bananas contain amino acid called L-Tryptophan which our brain then converts into 5-HTP. By the way, you can try taking 5-HTP supplements for mild depression and better sleep. Everyone is different however it might help. 5-HTP is then converted into neurotransmitters Serotonin and Melotonin. Some people benefit from taking Melotonin for sleep as well. They both promote relaxation and manage anxiety.
According to David Wolfe, researches have found that blueberries can reduce the chemicals associated with suicide and depression and they can increase Serotonin levels. Eat them plain or use them in smoothies along with protein powder. I do that daily and not only I've lost weight, I get a healthy and delicious breakfast made of avocado, blueberries, flaxseed, chia seeds, and organic pea protein powder.
7. Green Tea
Green teas contain substance known as Polyphenols which are known to boost the functioning of Dopamine, a "happy" neurotransmitter, by making it available to areas of brain where it's needed. They also signal to the brain to create a positive mood. So go ahead and try green tea instead of your coffee! One of more holistic psychiatrists I've met, she also recommended taking L-Theanine supplements if the idea of replacing tea with coffee doesn't appeal to you.
Almonds are good for you because they contain Magnesium. As per David Wolfe, one study found that just half of a cup of almonds contains 268 mg of Magnesium, which is therapeutic when it comes to depression and anxiety. It also helped my chronic headaches. Grab a handful for a healthy snack or use them in salads, smoothies, or try almond milk as opposed to regular milk as dairy has been shown to have adverse effects a on your health as many people have become lactose intolerant.
Add these delicious food to your daily diet along with exercise and stress management techniques, as well as spending time with positive and nurturing people and soon you will notice a decline in your symptoms and possibly even get off medication.