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Depression can be a silent killer and it is hard to see it when you are in the midst of it, but one way that you may be sabotaging your ability to overcome the feelings of anxiety and sadness is by not focusing your attention on healthy eating habits. What you consume is impacting your mental well being in immense ways.

It is hard to see, as mentioned, but your nutrition is going to play a crucial role in how you feel emotionally. It is not always about who you talk to, but how you feel physically that can manifest in your emotional and psychological state. Here is how you can fight depression naturally through your nutritional habits.

Avoiding Takeout and Fast Food

Fast food and takeout are huge enemies to your happiness. While the convenience of a burger and fries from the drive-thru is undeniable the long-term effects it can have on your health are bad, and there is a lot of research to back up those claims. Eating fast food can make you feel sluggish, sap you of your energy, and the increased use of hormones in it will hurt your emotional state because you will be fluctuating in those emotions. It is important to know that you can have a cheat meal every once in a while, but don’t make a habit of it.

Improving Cognitive Function

Nutrition can be used to help clear up your mental focus so you feel undisturbed and utilize your mind to maximum effectiveness. There are a lot of superfoods that help with your cognitive functions, and spinach and fish oil are two of the best. You can find the best brands for fish oil quite easily, and they can fit into your routine even easier because you just need to swallow them down with some water. Aside from that acai berries are another superfood that can help with your body’s regulatory functions and help your mind feel clear as day.

Eating Regularly

It might seem odd, but having an irregular diet is a big problem for your depression. How this works is that your body runs on a designed plan and the more you alter it, the more it can start to lose its equilibrium. If you’ve been eating breakfast at 7 am, lunch at 12 pm, then dinner at 5 pm, your entire day can be out of whack if you start deviating a lot, or missing meals altogether. The lack of energy can contribute to your depression as well so you want to maintain a fairly rigid eating schedule so you have the fuel your body needs.

Hydrating Often

Another reason you may be feeling down, or at least contributing to your depression, is that you are dehydrated. An inactive brain can start to feel worse because it is not being hydrated enough, so you have to follow the doctor’s recommended water consumption levels. It all depends on the height, weight, and activity level, but the general idea of 8-12 glasses of water a day is very helpful. Always keep a water bottle handy so you never feel tired from dehydration or exacerbate your depression symptoms.

Making Better Food Choices

Just like you would by avoiding eating fast food and takeout, you need to start consuming better food when you can. Too many people fall into the trap of thinking they eat well because they only shop at the grocery store when in fact their food is still chock full of saturated fats and sodium. Start reading labels better and cook more full-homemade meals, not frozen out of a box food.

Cutting Down on Alcohol

A lot of you might hate to hear this, but alcohol is not doing you or your depression any favors. Alcohol is a depressant by nature so it is going to reduce your testosterone levels, increase estrogen, and make you feel incredibly bad, and not just from the hangover. Alcohol might be a good social lubricant and it can be enjoyable, but either cut it out entirely for a bit to see how you feel or try to reduce your intake and be more responsible when you do drink. It’s tough, but it is something that will help you feel better mentally.

Depression can affect anyone, and it is hard to spot, but one of the most effective ways you can help fight it is by eating better and focusing on your nutrition. A healthy diet and smarter lifestyle choices will not cure it, but it will give you a better chance of fighting it.