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10 Foods That Fight Depression And Anxiety

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10 Foods That Fight Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety can by caused by many things ranging from genetics to lifestyle choices. Although we can’t always cure depression on our own, we can make little changes in our lives to help fight it. One of the ways we can fight depression and anxiety is by eating foods that are good for our bodies and our minds.

1. Whole Grains Lighten Up Your Mood

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    If you’re looking to improve your mood quickly, grab a healthy, high fiber carbohydrate like whole wheat bread, muffins or pasta. Carbohydrates promote serotonin production; serotonin is the “feel-good” hormone that improves your mood and relaxes your brain and body. Not only that, but whole grains also help maintain a steady blood sugar level, which keeps you from dropping into that terrible “hungry” feeling.

    2. Dark Chocolate Fights Against Depression

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      Although milk chocolate might actually contribute to depression, dark chocolate can aid in your fight against it, as long as you eat it in moderation, of course. The reason it can help fight depression? It’s large amount of antioxidants, as well as it’s ability to boost endorphins and serotonin.

      3. Berries Bring You Joy

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        via PicJumbo

        These tasty, delicious little fruits are packed with antioxidants and vitamins! Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries should be incorporated into your diet as much as possible because not only do antioxidants boost your immune system and prevent cancer, but they can play a huge role in your fight against depression, too. You can throw them on your cereal, in your yogurt or smoothies, or enjoy them all on their own!

        4. Walnuts Supports Overall Brain Health

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          Like most nuts, walnuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. What makes walnuts really stand out though, is the omega-3 fatty acids they also contain. In fact, walnuts are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3s, which can help lower depression and support overall brain health. So, the next time you’re feeling blue or anxious, grab a bag of walnuts to munch on.

          5. Salmon Boosts Brain Power

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            via PicJumbo

            Speaking of omega-3s, fatty fish like salmon are also great sources of this fatty acid.Not only is fish great for boosting your brain health and fighting depression, but they are excellent for your overall health, too. Eating fish regularly can help improve circulation and reduce inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of salmon, or other fatty fish, a week.

            6. Dark Leafy Greens Fight Anxiety And Depression

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              Dark leafy greens are probably the healthiest, most nutrient-dense food around. Spinach, kale and Swiss chard can help prevent cancer, boost your immune system and, of course, fight depression and anxiety.

              7. Seeds Give You A Good Night’s Sleep

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                Munching on seeds to cure your crunchy cravings can help you cut down on calories. It can also help you fight depression! Flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are full of omega-3s, which we already know is great for our brains! Pumpkin seeds are also great for fighting depression because they are packed with l-tryptophan, an amino acid that is a precursor to melatonin, which we need for sleep. Pumpkin seeds also help increase serotonin levels.

                8. Beans Can Lift Your Mood

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                  We all know that beans are absolutely amazing for your overall health because they’re high in protein, iron, folate, carbohydrates and fiber, but low in cholesterol. So we all know beans are good for our heart, but did you know they’re also good for you mind, too? Beans have selenium in them, which can help lift your mood whenever you’re feeling low. Eat them mixed with rice, in a burrito or in a bean salad.

                  9. Avocado: Tasty Choice For Better Brain Health

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                    This super food (and super delicious fruit) is an edible all-star because it contains tryptophan, folate and more of those brain-healthy omega-3s! However, even though it’s amazing for your health, it’s still high in fat and should be consumed moderately. To take advantage of it’s creamy tastiness, eat it thinly sliced on top of sandwiches and burgers, or in your salad.

                    10. Mushrooms: Superfood For Your Brain

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                      Mushrooms are good for your mental health and here’s why: they help lower blood sugar levels, evening out your mood, and they promote healthy gut bacteria, and the gut is where 80 to 90 per cent of our body’s serotonin is manufactured. Mushrooms can be eaten a variety of ways and in a variety of dishes! Enjoy them raw in salads or throw them on your pizza, and fight depression and anxiety!

                      Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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                      Last Updated on November 22, 2021

                      Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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                      Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

                      Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

                      During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

                      But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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                      Simplify

                      I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

                      Absolutely.

                      And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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                      If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

                      • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
                      • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
                      • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

                      Be Mindful

                      You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

                      Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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                      Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

                      Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

                      Reflect

                      As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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                      Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

                      But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

                      So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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                      Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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