Have you ever felt so blue that you just can’t get out of bed? Feeling down in the dumps occasionally is normal. But when these feelings don’t go away, or they start to affect your day-to-day life, it could be a sign of depression.
Depression is a common mental disorder that affects about 15% of the US population. It causes people to experience persistent low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and low energy levels.
Moreover, physical manifestations can also arise, such as aches, pains, and headaches. Sexual problems likeerectile dysfunction may also manifest due to the chemical imbalance in the brain.
While there are many effective treatments for depression, such as therapy and medication, making certain lifestyle changes can also help. One simple way to do this is by changing your diet.
Let’s look at some of the best foods for depression.
1. Green, Leafy Vegetables
Many leafy greens are rich in folate, a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body form new red blood cells. Folate is important for brain health and plays a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Individuals with depression have lower serum and dietary folate levels than those without the condition, according to a published study. This gives credence to the idea that folate deficiency may play a role in the development of depression.
Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression. When folate levels are low, it can lead to an imbalance in neurotransmitters and worsen the symptoms of depression.
Some examples of green, leafy vegetables that are high in folate include:
- Turnip greens
By incorporating these foods into your diet, you may be able to improve your folate levels and help relieve your depression symptoms.
2. Testosterone-Rich Foods
It may be surprising to believe that testosterone-rich food, which is typically associated with sexual virility and wellness, can also alter your mood and well-being. But the connection between testosterone and mental disorders is very much present.
Testosterone is a hormone that plays a role in both male reproduction and sex drive. It’s particularly helpful in building muscle mass, maintaining bone density, and promoting fat distribution.
One study showed that men with clinical depression had 17% lower bioavailable testosterone levels than men without depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that improving testosterone levels can help fight against depressive symptoms, although further testing may be necessary to verify that claim.
Examples of foods that contain high levels of testosterone include:
- Oysters: High in zinc and vitamin D, helpful for sperm production
- Pomegranates: Boost testosterone levels and mood in men and women
- Ginger: Increases T levels in men with testosterone deficiency
If you’re experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, a testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) procedure may be worth exploring. This procedure is a safe and effective way to improve testosterone levels in a clinical setting.
Contact a men’s clinic near you to learn more.
Salmon is considered to be one of the best protein-rich foods you can eat for fighting depression. For starters, it’s nutritious and packed with healthy fats. Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against cancer, improve brain function, and lower blood sugar levels.
Salmon also has low cholesterol levels, which can decrease the odds of patients having diabetes and heart problems. They contain high levels of Vitamin D as well, which improves sexual, mental, and physical symptoms.
Aside from salmon, other fatty fish like tuna and cod can also help improve your mood and fight major depression. Most dietary experts would recommend fish consumption to occur at least twice a week.
4. Dark Chocolate
You probably didn’t expect to see chocolate on this list. But dark chocolate can help improve your mood and fight depression.
In one cross-sectional study, over 70% of individuals reported not having any depressive symptoms after consuming dark chocolate in the past 24 hours. The same effects were not observed in those who ate milk chocolate or white chocolate.
Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids, which are natural compounds that act as antioxidants. These compounds can help improve cognitive function and decrease inflammation, which can subsequently reduce depressive symptoms.
Clams and mussels are two types of shellfish that are often overlooked. But these seafood items are actually potent mood boosters.
Clams are high in tryptophan, an amino acid that’s converted into serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and appetite.
Mussels, on the other hand, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve cognitive function and decrease inflammation.
Both clams and mussels are also excellent sources of vitamin B12. This vitamin helps keep the nervous system functioning properly. A lack of vitamin B12 has been linked to depression and other mental health disorders.
6. Probiotic-Rich Foods
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, specifically your digestive system. They can help improve the immune system and fight off harmful bacteria.
Recent studies have also shown that probiotics are key components in the bidirectional communication between the gut and brain. As a result, eating foods like yogurt can improve your mood and reduce depression symptoms.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. Unlike processed foods and sugary foods, yogurt is packed with live bacteria that can help improve gut health. Other probiotic-rich foods include:
Taking care of your mental health also entails keeping your digestive system healthy. By eating gut-friendly foods, you can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
Eating a banana every day can be an excellent way to improve your mood and fight depression. Bananas are rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6. These nutrients are essential for regulating the body’s ability to produce serotonin.
Moreover, bananas are a great energy source prior to engaging in physical activity. This boost of energy will help reinvigorate you and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout.
Contact Cincinnati’s Leading Men’s Clinic to Combat Sexual Health Issues Caused by Depression
It should be no surprise that eating healthy foods can deliver a positive impact on your daily life. The list above should cover many of the important foods you can take to take that first step to wellness.
If you’re having trouble keeping your health in order, contact a health professional for a medical check-up.
The medical professionals at Proactive Men’s Medical Center in Cincinnati specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as Erectile Dysfunction, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.