5 Foods to Eat When You're Depressed
Try these smart choices when your mood is depressed:
1. An omelet -- just don't skip the yolk
2. Nuts and seeds
Examples: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts. (Green leafy vegetables and whole grains are also high in magnesium.)
Why they help: Magnesium, a mineral found naturally in nuts and seeds, influences production of serotonin, a "feel-good" brain chemical. Magnesium also affects overall energy production.
Bonus: Nuts are also a good source of protein and healthy fats. And as a whole food, they make a healthy alternative to processed snacks, provided you choose unsalted and unsweetened varieties. Salt and sugared coatings don't add any health benefits and may make you overeat because they set up cravings in the brain for more and more salt or sugar.
3. Cold-water fish
Why they help: There's a reason fish is known as "brain food." Fatty fish such as wild salmon contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which has been shown to increase the membrane quality and nerve function of gray matter in the brain. Twenty percent of the gray matter in the brain is composed of DHA. Some studies have found that DHA consumption especially increases gray matter in the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the cingulate, three areas of the brain associated with mood. People with severe depression have less gray matter in these areas.