In June 2020, depression and anxiety were up threefold across America compared to the same time last year, reports the CDC. The knee-jerk reaction is too often popping a pill. What if we looked at food more methodically to engineer homeostasis within? Eating healthier can improve symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and nausea, says psychiatrist Leela Magavi. Feeling more alert and energetic can domino into other mood-boosting behaviors like exercise and self-care. What’s more, a growing body of research suggests certain nutrients may help rein in anxious feelings and curb depression.
Fatten Up Your Diet
People who eat a Mediterranean-like diet—high in omega-3-rich fish, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, but low in meat and dairy—are the least likely to develop anxiety. Healthy fats lower inflammation (linked to depressive symptoms) and boost production of a specific brain protein (BDNF) that influences neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to form new connections and communicate effectively, says Jody Bergeron, RN.