Food is one of the most powerful energy sources, providing nutrients and vitamins that keep our bodies moving. But food can also help our minds; the right foods can help us with depression and increase the production of serotonin in our minds.
Serotonin is often referred to as the “happy hormone” because it plays a crucial role in regulating one’s mood. When it’s at normal levels, you tend to feel more focused, emotionally stable, happier, and calmer. There are several ways to boost serotonin levels, including exercising, spending time in the sun, getting enough sleep, taking supplements, and consuming certain foods.
It's believed that a low concentration of serotonin may be a cause of depression. In an article in the World Journal of Psychiatric by Laura R. LaChance and Drew Ramsey, in which they presented an “Antidepressant Food Score,” the authors analyzed animal and plant food based on which ones contained more antidepressant nutrient density.
To conduct their research, they studied 34 essential nutrients for humans, relying on a USDA database and a level of evidence criteria.
They found that 12 antidepressant nutrients relate to the prevention and treatment of depressive disorders: Folate, iron, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc.
Among the top antidepressant plant foods are:
- fresh herbs
Top antidepressant animal foods are:
According to a study, depression is a major cause of disability worldwide, especially among individuals aged 15-44. Therefore, it is crucial to enhance public awareness about natural and healthy antidepressants.