Food with Purpose: Dark Greens for Depression

Please note, if you are on medication for depression, I am not advising you to go off prescribed treatments. I am suggesting the re-enforcement of nutrients for your body. If you are concerned with a diet change, please consult your doctor first.

A healthy diet that is recommended by the The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture of the United Nation (USDA) consists of at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day [1]. Finding the motivation to prepare these healthy meals is difficult for me when I am depressed. Salads and wraps are something I can whip up quickly when I am experiencing depressive episodes. Ideally I would recommend consuming foods raw, but if you cannot or do not want to, pressure cooking or microwaving works too. Using these food preparation methods will help the food to retain the valuable nutrients it has, in comparison to steaming or boiling them. By skipping the cooking step, time and quality will typically be most beneficial to our body.

If you have depression, your body can benefit from specific foods, such as dark leafy greens, due to their high nutrition/vitamin content. More specifically, it fights depression due to it’s high omega-3 content [2]! Consider it a medicinal fuel for your body to function in a healthy and efficient way. Without providing your body with these nutrients, it is unable to get the proper energy it needs to perform necessary daily tasks. This can result in negative health consequences such as depression, cancer, or heart diseases [3].

Foods that will help fight depression:

    • Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach, kale, red/green romaine lettuce, bok choy)
    • Broccoli
    • Nuts (walnuts are ideal)
    • Flax seed
    • Olive, Canola, or Soybean oil
    • Optional: Dried fruits (raisins/cranberries) or fresh fruit (mango/apples)
    • Optional: Seeds (shelled sunflower, pumpkin, chia)

Tip: Put those organic weeds in your yard to use after pulling them! Try adding dandelions, red clovers, plantain plants, or cat tails to your salad or stir fry for an extra boost of nutrients! Check out more about these nutritional & medicinal plants on my other blog here!

References:

[1] PEM, Dhandevi, and Rajesh JEEWON. “Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Benefits and Progress of Nutrition Education Interventions- Narrative Review Article.” Iranian Journal of Public Health 44.10 (2015): 1309–1321. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4644575/

[2] Wani, Ab Latif, Sajad Ahmad Bhat, and Anjum Ara. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the Treatment of Depression: A Review of Scientific Evidence.” Integrative Medicine Research 4.3 (2015): 132–141. PMC. Web. 2 Oct. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5481805/

[3] http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

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