Depression is more common than you think, especially for women who just gave birth. It’s called postpartum depression wherein new moms have that feeling of hopelessness and helplessness a few weeks after delivery. Depression is a real illness, and it’s plaguing more or less 10 percent of Americans in the country today.
Moreover, in the entire world, at least 300 million are suffering from a type of depression, and these people are the diagnosed ones. Many people are left untreated, and some of them end up with severe mental health issues on top of their clinical or postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression or any depression for that matter can be treated. New moms must not suffer this ailment any longer. Your baby needs you, and if you’re depressed, you can’t take care of your young.
With that said, therapy or counseling is necessary to overcome depression. Rachna Rangan, Psy.D., Ph.D., wrote, ”There are enough indications that being mindful about what we eat and how we eat is related to better health outcomes. Some ideas for mindful eating include meal planning, setting aside time to eat, and eating socially.” From home, you can also help yourself and reduce depression signs by eating the right kind of foods.
Here are five foods that can help improve your mental state and reduce postpartum depression:
Dark Green and Leafy Vegetables
What are dark green and leafy vegetables? Veggies like kale, which is also termed as a superfood, is a dark green and leafy veggie. Romaine lettuce, spinach, leafy green lettuce, and Swiss chard are top bets, as well. The veggies just mentioned are filled with nutrients that minimize brain inflammation. An inflamed brain is susceptible to depression and therefore, eating these dark green, and leafy vegetables will ward off sad feelings and bad moods.
Additionally, according to Carolyn C. Ross M.D., M.P.H., “Leafy greens such as spinach, romaine, turnip and mustard greens, and broccoli are high in folic acid, as are beets and lentils. Deficiencies in folate as well as other B vitamins have been linked with higher rates of depression, fatigue and insomnia”
One cup a day of leafy greens is a great way to start your road to “natural” recovery from depression. Being a new mom, you can also benefit from the many vitamins and minerals in dark green and leafy vegetables. It is also very low in calories, and it won’t get you fat no matter how many servings you eat.
Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is a fatty food, but not in an unhealthy way. In fact, new moms need a substantial amount of healthy fats in their system. One of those nutritious and delicious fatty foods is walnuts.
“Walnuts are known to support overall brain health, being one of the highest plant-based sources of omega-3 and a great source of protein to help keep blood sugar levels at a healthy balance,” wrote Jodi Clarke, MA, LPC/MHSP, NCC.
It was proven by scientific studies that people with psychotic tendencies are all deficient in one specific nutrient, Omega-3 fatty acids. Their brains lacked Omega-3 which is supposed to activate the neurotransmitters within. Brain-activated neurotransmitters keep people from getting depressed.
All you need is a handful of walnuts for your snack, or you can sprinkle it in your green leafy salad. It will help with your emotional issues.
The avocado fruit has this distinct texture when inside the mouth. It is also rich in monounsaturated fats or what they call MUFAs. These are known as the healthy fats, and it is recommended by nutritionists to eat two to three slices of avocado every week.
What is so great about MUFAs? If you have monounsaturated fats in your system, blood flow to the brain is regulated correctly. When the mind is nourished, the occurrence of mental health problems like depression is minimized.
What’s the best way to instantly lift up your mood? Eat a whole bowl of berries! Blueberries are perhaps the most nutritious fruit on the planet. It contains potent antioxidants that can fight back free radicals which causes cancer. You can also eat strawberries or blackberries. Raspberries are also great as a pick-me-up snack because it brings oxygen to the brain and keeps a person in good spirits.
You might have heard the saying – An apple a day keeps the doctor away. It is true. An apple contains fiber and antioxidants. It fixes anti-inflammatory issues and normalizes the body’s glucose levels. If the body’s blood sugar is controlled, then, the mood of the person is stabilized. Meaning, there will be no mood swings and a person’s depressive mood is kept in check.