How Food and Diet Can Help with Depression (cont.)

Medical Reviewer:

Fish Oil

Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna: These oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Your body doesn't make omega-3s, so eating them is the only way you can get them. And like folic acid, omega-3s help build neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which help regulate mood. Getting enough omega-3s helps your body produce serotonin.

A study in 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that patients suffering from an episode of major depression improved when they were given omega-3 supplements.

An added bonus: Fatty acids from fish like omega-3s may also improve circulation and help lower your risk of heart disease.

Flaxseed and walnuts are also good sources of omega-3s.

Fortified Cereal

Whole grain cereals fortified with vitamin D should be included in your diet. You can get two benefits from one serving: Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, and complex carbohydrates can make you feel good. Complex carbohydrates help your body to release the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.

Vitamin D is important for fighting depression as well. A large study by researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found a strong link between adults with a history of depression and low vitamin D levels.

Other sources of vitamin D include low-fat dairy products and sunshine (though don't risk getting sunburned).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/13/2016

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