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Five foods that may help you fight depression

by , 17 March 2016

I spent a good part of my teenage years battling mild depression. It led me into a downward spiral where I felt hopeless, sad, and uninterested most of the time. I felt completely horrible about myself and the world around me. Eventually, I found myself unable to deal with this any longer ... and this is when I set out on a determined journey to clean up my mind, body and soul.

I decided that my first stop would be with the food I was putting in my body. Up until this time, I'd been eating a highly processed food diet. When I started to incorporate real food, my entire world started to change.

I was more energetic, creative and inspired. It was amazing! I was also a better person to myself and everybody around me. At this point, a lightbulb went off and I really started to connect the dots. The food I was putting in my body was having a massive impact on my mental health!

So I did some research and discovered scientific evidence that confirmed it was true: What you eat can either positively or negatively affect your mental health. I learned that indeed, processed food has the power to create inflammation throughout your body and can contribute to chemical imbalances in your brain.

On that note, I'm sharing my list of top five healing foods that have the power to fight symptoms of depression and how they work. Add them to your diet right away and watch the results come on in no time.

Five foods that can help heal depression

#1: Sweet potato
My beloved sweet potato! It's more than just a delicious vegetable, it's also super rich in vitamin B6. Low levels of vitamin B6 have been associated with symptoms of depression, so it's essential you get your fix of this nutrient.

Try: This filling and detoxifying detox soup made with sweet potato.
 
#2: Spinach
Spinach is probably my favourite superfood. So much goodness is packed into this leafy green, including tryptophan and folate. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps you feel happy. The tryptophan found in spinach helps increase your levels of serotonin so you can start to feel better. Spinach is also high in folate, another nutrient that helps increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

Try: This scrumptious baked eggs and spinach breakfast dish.
 
#3: Cashews
As if you needed another excuse to eat cashews. In the documentary Food Matters, Dr Andrew Saul explains that eating two handfuls of cashews is equivalent to taking a prescription dose of the popular antidepressant Prozac. Cashews are also super high in tryptophan, which, again, helps increase levels of that happiness-inducing neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Try: This alkalising cashew and kiwi smoothie bowl.
 
#4: Berries
The daily grind often leaves your body feeling worn down and inflamed. High levels of inflammation in the body have been linked to symptoms of depression. Berries contain high amounts of polyphenols, which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, to help your system recover.

Try: This refreshing strawberry and blueberry smoothie.
 
#5: Avocado
Last but not least, another favourite: Avocado. Avocado is a serious superfood when it comes to depression as it contains tryptophan, folate, and omega-3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps combat inflammation in the brain and regulate the brain's neurotransmitters.

Try: These creamy avocado baked eggs.

I hope these foods help you like they helped me!

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