7 Foods to Help Fight Depression

There’s no magic cure to stop depression. It takes a lot of work. Having a solid treatment plan is the best way to combat it. But there are other things you can do on your own to help your mood and keep depression at bay… that includes what you eat. We all know we should be eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while cutting down on processed food. But sometimes that feels like an unrealistic goal. Instead, just try to incorporate a few of these 7 foods that will improve your mood and fight depression.

1. Carbohydrates and Whole Grains

pablo.pngWhen looking for foods to help fight depression definitely consider whole grains. These high-fiber “smart carbs” are great for a quick mood boost. Complex carbohydrates release seratonin, making you feel happier. Try to avoid simple carbs and sugary foods. Instead turn to whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat pasta. They can really help with stress.

2. Low-Fat Dairypablo(1)

Dairy is great for your body for a variety of reasons, but low-fat dairy is the richest source of two important nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. In addition, dairy has specific proteins called peptides that help relax you and give you a sense well-being. Try skim milk, yogurt and low-fat cheeses.

3. Turkey

vegetables-glass-meal.jpgYou may associate tryptophan with feeling tired after eating a Thanksgiving meal, but it turns out the chemical in turkey also has big health benefits. Tryptophan stimulates seratonin production, giving you a natural happy feeling. Keep in mind most lean proteins are good for fighting depression, but turkey is the best option thanks to tryptophan. You might just want to take a nap after eating it!

4. Fatty Fish Like Salmon and Tuna
salmon-seafood-fish-restaurant-cuisine-gourmetIf you guessed omega-3 fatty acids for the reason why salmon and tuna are on the list, than you’re right. The fatty acids found in the fish have brain-boosting properties to help fight depression, according to research published in January 2014 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Fatty fish is also good for overall health, they improve circulation and reduce inflammation in the body. It’s not just salmon and tuna that have these properties. Also try mackerel or bluefish! A serving a few times a week could do great things for your mental health!
5. Green Tea
green-tea-press-flowers-kitchen-drink-beverage.jpgGreen tea is a great source of antioxidants, but it’s also a great beverage for fighting depression. The amino acid known as theanine is naturally found in tea leaves and provides a natural anti-stress benefit. So if you’re a coffee drinker (like I am) try switching to cup of green tea every once in awhile to absorb some of its relaxing benefits.
6. Walnutswalnuts-nuts-peeled-baking
If you’re not a fish fan, or want another way to get those omega-3s, try walnuts. While most nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats, walnuts are the best for fighting depression because they are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Dark Chocolate
close-up-of-dark-chocolate-pieces-and-cocoaCan’t forget about desert! While most people would say they feel happier after eating chocolate, it turns out that chemically that might actually be true. Dark chocolate helps release seratonin and relaxes the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system. So in addition to tasting amazing, also know it really can make you feel better! It’s a good excuse for the next time you indulge.
There are a lot of great foods to help improve your mood or fight depression, but if you’re really struggling, just don’t leave it up to your diet. Talk to your doctor and counselor about the best treatment plan for your condition, but that does generally include making sure you’re taking care of your body. So try these foods they could make a big difference!
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Great Recipes For Summer!

I want to start off by saying I’m sorry. I’ve really dropped the ball when it comes to posting lately. What can I say? I’ve been enjoying the summer- and of course summer food.

I just went with my mom to a farm stand outside of Baltimore, and I got some great produce!

  • watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Green Beans
  • Cantaloupe
  • Fresh basil (this is actually from my mom’s garden)

There’s a ton of great stuff out there. So now I’ve been struck with a bit of inspiration, and I’m ready to share some great summer recipes. Some of these are new- some are older but still great for summer!

IMG_1918 Summer Bruschetta 

IMG_1904 Zucchini Pasta w/ Old Bay Shrimp, Heirloom Tomatoes & Fresh Corn

watermelon basil w border Watermelon & Basil Summer Slush

IMG_1791 Green Pea & Avocado Soup

Image-1(2) Healthy “Fried” Fish Tacos w/ Jalapeno-Lime Vinaigrette

froyo with border Quick & Easy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Get cooking and check out your local farmers’ market for some great ideas and seasonal veggies!

Healthy “Fried” Fish Tacos w/ Jalapeno-Lime Vinaigrette

FullSizeRender(6)So I’m a little late for Cinco De Mayo, but I think this recipe will be good all summer. It’s a really filling taco, but also tastes extremely fresh. A flakey fish works best for this recipe. I used red snapper and it was AMAZING. The fish is coated in cornmeal and baked to get a crunchy texture like frying, but without all the fat!

Each taco is about 270 calories (give or take a few depending on how many toppings you actually put on the tacos.) Recipe makes 5 tacos.

What you’ll need:

red snapper filet- or whatever white fish you decide to buy. (I suggest buying at least a pound if not a pound and a half. I bought an entire half of a snapper. I had some left over but that’s ok! more for later.)

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup egg whites

salt

pepper

adobo seasoning

chili powder

1 jalepeno

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 lime

1 avocado

8 oz queso fresco

1 ear of corn

1 cup of shredded cabbage

1 cup of fresh mango

5 La Tortilla Factory Low-Carb Whole Wheat tortillas (check out my review in The Secrets)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. cut the fish into strips (about 3 ounces each). Put the cornmeal in a bowl. Mix in a few dashes of chili powder and generous dashes of Adobo seasoning. In a separate bowl mix the egg whites and a tablespoon of water. Taking a baking sheet and spray with olive oil or a non-stick spray. Dip the fish in the egg wash, and then in the cornmeal. Cover the fish completely, and place on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. (watch fish closely. cooking time may vary based on how thickly you cut fish. Overcooking will cause fish to dry out.

For the vinaigrette:

Mince the jalapeno, removing all seeds and veins. Mince the two cloves of garlic. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, lime and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk all the ingredients together. If you have time, make ahead of time and let sit overnight, so the flavors can meld together. (This is pretty spicy… even though you remove the seeds and veins. So if you’d like to make it a little milder, use half a jalapenos, and add more lime juice.)

For the toppings:

Take the ear of corn. Wrap in foil. Grill the corn until it gets a little char.  If you don’t have a grill you can put the corn directly on the burner (gas or electric is doesn’t matter… but watch it to make sure you don’t start a fire.) The popping sound is normal, but rotate the corn about every two minutes. Cut the corn off the cob and set aside.

Brown tortillas on the stove. (or oven if you prefer them a little softer) Put the tortilla in a pan and heat until it’s warm, and a little brown. It shouldn’t take very long. flip the tortilla and do the same thing on the other side. set aside.

FullSizeRender(7)Take the shredded cabbage, put in a bowl and add a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette. mix together so it’s just slightly dressed.

Chop up the mango and avocado.

Take the tortilla, top with the cabbage,  and fish strip. sprinkle with corn, mango, avocado. Add another teaspoon of the vinaigrette and crumble some of the queso fresco on top.

(*optional: I added some of my favorite habanero hot sauce to add an extra kick. If you’re a fan of tomatoes I’d suggest add some pico de gallo. I don’t like raw tomatoes, so I didn’t initially add it in… but it would be a great addition for salsa lovers.)

You can also make this into a great taco salad! just lose the tortilla, toss in a few black beans and extra cabbage and voila!