Eat one avocado toast and call your doctor in the morning. Like most illnesses, there are many helpful ways to combat depression in addition to therapy or medication. Much like meditation or exploring the great outdoors, certain foods have been scientifically proven to help improve mental health. Our brains need proper nutrition to run effectively. Fats, in particular, have been tied to lowering depression. Not just any fats, though, but specifically Omega-3 fatty acids. Those are found in a host of foods like olives, fish, and nuts. The Mediterranean diet–which involves many of these foods–has been tied to lower risk of depression in a long-term study.
Quartz interviewed a nutritionist who focuses on the connection between mental health and food, asking for her recommendations for those struggling with depression. She suggested:
“…an ideal breakfast for people struggling with depression would be eggs (which include amino acids, Omega-3, Vitamin D, and fatty acids), with sprouted-grain toast and smashed avocado. The fatty acids in eggs are key, she says. ‘Our brain is about 60% fat and we need to get our fat from a dietary source. Avocado is rich in tryptophan, which is a pre-cursor to serotonin, which is our feel-good chemical. It also has folate and Omega 3 in it.'”
Read all of her food recommendations on Quartz here. Want to learn more about mental health? Watch this video from The Atlantic below.