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"What foods lessen the effects of depression?"


I am a 31 year old male with depression. I try to exercise regularly. What foods will help me stay happy?


I am sorry that you are suffering from depression. Depression is a complex disorder that involves both chemical imbalances in the brain (which we are beginning to understand more and more) and environmental stressor which can activate them. Both our diets and are activity level play a role in this.

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Certainly keeping a regular exercise regimen a few days a week will help to raise your mood and make life more enjoyable. Eating a well balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and only a small amount of saturated fats and almost no simple sugars can only help. While there is no scientific data to support a specific food or a specific diet for those with depression, anything you can do which will make you feel better or raise you self esteem will be a good thing. I cannot recommend any specific foods other than what I just mentioned. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist. He or she can discuss the details of your depression symptoms and determine what treatment you need. You will absolutely need to be on an antidepressant medication, probably something from the SSRI class (Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, etc). One of these medications combined with a healthy lifestyle will likely improve your symptoms.

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