Cooking With Chemicals: (B)eat Your Depression Some More

A couple weeks ago I wrote a piece on food which can help battle depression and anxiety. I received a ton of positive feedback so I am going to give you a few of the foods that didn’t make the cut for the first piece.

1. Brown Rice: White rice has less substance than Kim Kardashian’s personality and it’s really not good for you at all. Brown Rice has high levels of folic acid, vitamins B1 and B3, as well it is a low glycemic index food. This is important because blood sugar levels can really effect mood. White rice spikes your blood sugar which can cause anxiety and eventually when you blood sugar drops depression can set in. This is a simple switch than anyone can make to battle depression

2. Flax: Flax has the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and they are a perfect way to super charge your breakfast. You can buy flax bread, you can mix flax seeds into some peanut butter and top your flax bread with that. And if you like to make a breakfast smoothie, just a little flax seed oil is a great way to add a creamy texture and a great dose of Omega 3.

3. Soy Milk: I know there are people who will fight me on this but beyond my body’s on going conflict with lactose, soy is a great source of Vitamin D and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Just substituting soy milk in your breakfast cereal can fortify your body’s supply of Vitamin D.* I know there are people who love milk and feel like they would die without it but many people go years without knowing they have a sensitivity to lactose. The reaction to this sensitivity could be manifested in depression or other mood disturbances. Take a week of milk and see how it feels.

4.Mushrooms: If you google search the words depression and mushrooms together you get hundreds of articles talking about the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the treatment of depression. I cannot speak to the efficacy of these articles but I know that non-magical mushrooms are great in the battle against depression. Mushrooms are a supercharged depression fighter and there is a way to make them even better. Leaving your fresh mushrooms out in the sun increases their Vitamin D levels by up to 800%. Mushrooms are also a great source of selenium which is an mineral which has ties to mood and depression as well.

5. Sea Weed: Sea weed has tons of nutrients that are great for brain health. A key one is iodine. Healthy Iodine levels can help your thyroid function which can help with mood regulation.  Not to mention sea weed is cheap you can get a gigantic box of nori which would last for months from Costco for about $8. Homemade sushi is now totally on the table and another thing I like to do is grind the seaweed up into a powder and use it as a thickener for sauces and soups. It’s a great way to get a deep flavour to a sauce with all kinds of nutrients.

*In Canada we should all be taking some kind of Vitamin D supplement. I take a liquid version of Vitamin D which I take in a glass of water every morning. Vitamin D is an important nutrient for bone healthy and mental health and in Canada we just don’t get enough from the sun or our diets.