Classified as a mood disorder, depression is a mental condition wherein one’s daily functioning is interfered with by intense feelings of sadness, anger, or loss. Whereas anxiety is a condition characterized by constant feelings of fear and inadequacy. These feelings may appear irrational to the average person but are debilitating to the person diagnosed with them to the point that it gets in the way of them enjoying the things that they like.
India is one of the most mentally unhealthy countries in the world. Standing right next to China, research has shown that nearly 43% of Indians have been diagnosed with severe depression. Another clinical trial found out that over 20% of the Indian population suffers from anxiety neurosis.
These numbers have been on a constant rise since the pandemic struck. However, very few cases get officially diagnosed and many people never actually seek any medical attention or treatments for anxiety.
But did you know that before you opt for medicine for anxiety and stress, you can learn about foods for anxiety management? Yes, there are certain foods that help deal with anxiety and manage depression.
More often than not, people diagnosed with depression or anxiety tend to overeat. Although there are many natural remedies for anxiety including anti-anxiety foods, it must be understood that when one is anxious and depressed, it is important to select the foods to eat very carefully. While junk foods can make you feel worse consuming certain healthy foods can reduce stress and anxiety.
Superfoods For Anxiety And Depression
Here are a few foods that reduce anxiety and depression:
Various studies have concluded that consuming salmon can be beneficial for reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Salmon is a rich source of Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which help in the maintenance and development of cognitive health.
Additionally, the EPA and DHA are also responsible for regulating the release of “feel-good” hormones such as serotonin which can help provide a sense of calm and focus, making the fish or the fish oil, including its supplements effective anxiety remedy.
#2 Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a rich source of antioxidants that help in reducing the oxidative stress exerted on the brain. This helps in dealing with mental disorders such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety. A clinical trial conducted in 2016 observed that patients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder experienced a significant decrease in their anxiety and depression levels after eight weeks of consuming chamomile tea.
Turmeric is rich in a compound called curcumin which is great for maintaining cognitive processing and development. Consuming turmeric also helped in boosting the Omega-3 fatty acid levels inside the brain by improving its synthesis. Turmeric has also been proven to reduce markers of inflammation such as cytokine which are associated with the development of depression and anxiety. Incorporating turmeric with a warm glass of milk into your daily regime can help fight the symptoms of anxiety and depression while boosting your immunity system at the same time.
#4 Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the most common ‘comfort foods’ and helps relieve anxiety significantly. The flavanols present in chocolate are high in antioxidants which help in regulating brain function. A research conducted among a group of people diagnosed with mental disorders such as depression and anxiety concluded that the regular supplementation of dark chocolate caused a significant decrease in the body’s release of stress hormones such as cortisol and catecholamines within a period of two weeks.
Yogurt is one of the best foods for fighting depression and anxiety. It is rich in probiotics and antioxidants which not only help in regulating your gut health but are also good for your mental health. Consuming yogurt has been proven beneficial for reducing the free radicals and toxins present in your body and brain, which prevents the damage of nerve tissue and the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
A study conducted in 2011 found out that people who consumed at least 125 grams of yogurt daily had a significantly better emotional response and were able to rationalize their surroundings better, both of which are associated with fighting the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Simple steps like consuming healthy foods and exercising can have a significant impact on the way you process things. Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are a real thing. If you or someone you know is showing signs of having one, please consult a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist.