4 Power Foods to Beat Depression + Bust Inflammation

Food is medicine. So whether you’re feeling a little blue, struggling with depression or feeling the pain of excess inflammation, taking a mindful peek at your diet is a good idea.

While cutting out excess sugars and processed foods is crucial for improving mood and busting inflammation build-up, some foods go the extra mile to ensure you feel happy, light, and super balanced. Here are some powerful inflammation- and bad mood-busting foods.

1. Tart Cherry Juice

Many athletes consume tart cherry juice to fight muscle inflammation and improve post-workout recovery, but you don’t have to be an athlete to reap this juice’s benefits. Tart cherry juice is notoriously high in antioxidants, which means it is a natural fighter of oxidative damage, stress, and inflammation.

Some studies have shown that the antioxidant-rich juice may reduce symptoms and inflammation markers in arthritis, particularly gout.  But those antioxidants also can support more balanced moods. Some believe that depression is an inflammatory disorder, making a juice packed with antioxidants exactly what the naturopath ordered.

4 Power Foods to Beat Depression + Bust Inflammation

2. Fermented Foods

The secret to a balanced mood lies in your gut. Yep, we’re talking about the brain-gut connection again. There is a powerful link between bodily inflammation, your moods, and the health of your gut. When your gut is functioning well intestinal inflammation is low, your moods are more likely to be balanced.

Suffice to say, we all need more good bacteria in our lives to keep inflammation down and our moods up. Fermented foods like kraut and kimchi make great condiments that you can use practically on anything, but yogurt and tempeh are good options, too.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory powers are already pretty well known. It’s actually been shown to be effective at reducing inflammation in the body in those with arthritis, for goodness sakes! But what about its antidepressant effects?

In a meta-analysis of six clinical trials, turmeric was shown to have powerful antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties when compared to a placebo—without adverse side effects! As if you needed yet another reason to make a curry tonight. Just remember to add black pepper, as a compound in the pepper increases the bioavailability of curcumin (turmeric’s active compound).

4 Power Foods to Beat Depression + Bust Inflammation

4. Omega-3 Containing Foods

Having the proper balance of omega fatty acids in the body is important for keeping inflammation at bay, and it has some pretty stellar results. The anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3s may be able to help blood vessels better resist damage in heart disease and actually supports the endocannabinoid system in producing its own cannabinoids, which has an inflammation-thwarting effect on the body.

As for mood, omega-3 fatty acid are essential in the production of serotonin, the happy hormone, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people with major depression tend to be deficient in omega-3s. Vegan sources of omega 3s include chia seeds, hemp seeds, algal oil, walnuts, and flaxseeds.

Do you find that the foods you eat have a powerful effect on your moods? How about your inflammation—joint pain, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, IBS, et cetera? Did I miss any powerful foods on this list? Share them with the Care2 community below! 

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Images via Thinkstock.

335 comments

Renata B
Renata Byesterday

Thanks.

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Marge F
Marge F2 days ago

Thank you for posting this informative article.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne R
Jeanne R4 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Fran F
Fran F6 days ago

Thanks for this information.

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Julia S
Julia S7 days ago

Thank you for the article! Now I love cherry juice even more x)

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Julia S
Julia S7 days ago

Spam flagged.

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berny p
berny p8 days ago

thanks

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Stanley S
Stanley S9 days ago

tyfs

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Richard E Cooley

Thank you.

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