We’re only just beginning to understand how prevalent – and deadly – depression is in seniors.
And treating it can come with a host of dangerous issues – especially when you look at antidepressants.
But our bodies can have incredible influence over our mental state. I’m talking about what we eat.
A Powerful Ally
Food can be a powerful ally in the battle against depression.
A handful of years ago, scientists began advocating that nutrition and diet be part of the mainstream clinical practices of psychiatrists.
Lots of studies have suggested that a steady diet of fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains is associated with reduced symptoms of depression.
But despite these studies, uncertainty remained… until now.
A comprehensive analysis of 15 studies involving more than 45,000 participants concluded that diet does indeed play a significant role in reducing the symptoms of depression.
And these findings were substantiated by similar studies and analysis out of Japan and Norway.
That means we can now ask the empowering question: What foods actually fight depression?
Thanks to a sweeping analysis published in World Journal of Psychiatry, we now have a definitive list of 12 depression-fighting nutrients that are the most helpful… and the foods that are richest in them.
The 12 nutrients are 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.
These either decrease neuroinflammation or increase neuroplasticity… both of which are just two-dollar phrases meaning they fight depression.
And the good news is the list of foods that contain them aren’t just boring old fruits and veggies. There’s something here for everyone… whether you’re a meat-centric eater, a keto follower or a hardcore vegan.
Below is a list of the top 20 foods that were found to be the richest in antidepressant nutrients and their accompanying antidepressant food score (AFS) based on a standard 100-gram serving.
Meaty Antidepressant Foods
- Oysters: 56%
- Liver and organ meat: 18% to 38%
- Chicken giblets: 31%
- Clams: 30%
- Mussels: 28%
- Octopus: 27%
- Crab: 24%
- Goat: 23%
- Tuna: 15% to 21%
- Smelt: 20%
Veggie Antidepressant Foods
- Watercress: 127%
- Spinach: 97%
- Mustard, turnip and beet greens: 76% to 93%
- Red, green and romaine lettuce: 74% to 99%
- Swiss chard: 90%
- Fresh herbs, including cilantro, basil and parsley: 73% to 75%
- Chicory greens: 74%
- Pomelo: 69%
- Bell, jalapeño and serrano peppers: 39% to 56%
- Kale and collard greens: 48% to 62%
It’s crucial to have plenty of weapons in your arsenal when dealing with depression. So even if there’s nothing here that strikes your fancy, if you’re dealing with depressive symptoms, be sure your diet includes (at least on occasion) the 12 vital nutrients that can help in the fight against depression.