Foods that Fight Depression: Brighten Your Mood with a Rainbow of Food

vegetables and fruits.
A well stocked stand of vegetables and fruits. VOA

A chocolate bar may make you feel better when you’re down, but a cup of yogurt or a handful of cashews might be a better choice for the foods that fight depression.

“I think about our body in some ways like a car engine,” says therapist Leslie Korn. “We need to give it the right fuel. And each of us has a need for a particular combination of proteins, and carbohydrates and fats.”

Korn has been treating people for trauma and depression for more than 40 years. She noticed that when her patients changed their diet and began eating foods like dark chocolate, sweet potatoes, eggs, and cherries, they had much more success in lifting their depression and decreasing their pain.

She turned her observations into a book: The Good Mood Kitchen. It contains recipes and nutrition tips that can help put you in a good mood.

Fat for the brain

Fats, she explains, are not the nemesis many diets have made them out to be. We need fats in our diet because our brain is made up of fat. “It’s made up of chemicals that talk to each other and that are lubricated by the fat in order to communicate across the synapses and contribute to our ability to focus, to apply attention and to lift our mood. Indeed, there is some very good research going on in the military looking at the role of Omega 3 fatty acids for not only treatment of depression and anxiety, but also for suicide prevention.”

Taking care of the digestive system, which breaks down the fat, is essential for the brain to benefit, and Korn has a suggestion for that, too.

“For example, if your liver and if your gallbladder is not working, you can’t break down fats that are absorbed into the bloodstream and then support brain function. What we know is that the greens, in particular, bitter greens, help us digest fats and send those fats to the brain where we need it.”(VOA)

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