Becoming a mother is undoubtedly the most wonderful experience of your life. But what if depression and anxiety gets the better of you in this most happy phase? Well, you are not alone. Occasional depression, mood swings, and anxiety is very common post delivery and is commonly called as “Post-partum Depression”. Post-partum depression can ruin the joy post birth and can harm both the mother and the baby if left untreated.
Foods that Fight Post-Partum Depression
It’s common to feel let down and moody during the first few weeks post-birth. As you are recovering both mentally and physically, there are lot of hormonal changes happening in the body. Due to these changes, you are affected by mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
Although feeding yourself well may be the last thing on your mind, eating healthy food can have a significant impact on both your mood and energy levels. Listed below are some best foods that help fight post-partum depression.
Read More: Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression
1} Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids mainly found in fish, eggs, seeds, and nuts help your body function normally and also known to reduce rates of depression among many people. It is recommended that women post-delivery and breastfeeding women require at least 1.1 grams of omega-3s fatty acids. The following foods help provide sufficient omega-3s to the new mommy.
- Walnut oil: 1 tablespoon
- Canola oil: 1 tablespoon
- Ground flaxseeds: 1 tablespoon
- Herring: 1 ½ ounces
- Salmon: 2 ½ ounces
- White tuna canned: 4 ounces
- Omega-3 fortified eggs
- Fish oils
2} Serotonin rich foods
Serotonin levels reduce during pregnancy and post-birth. Serotonin hormone is a happy hormone that regulates mood and anxiety levels in your body. To boost serotonin levels you can include healthy food like nuts, beans, fish, chicken, and turkey. Nuts like avocado and vegetable oils like flax, almond, and olive oil can also boost serotonin levels in your body post-delivery.
3} Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential vitamin that is required by your body both during pregnancy and post-birth. It is also considered as a mood boosting nutrient that is a must post-delivery. Foods such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products are rich in Vitamin B12.
4} Folic Acid
Folic acid is an essential nutrient recommended for every women before conception, during pregnancy, and post-birth. It is also a wonder nutrient that keeps depression and mood swings at bay. Green leafy vegetables, beans, and fish are some of the best sources of folic acid or folate.
5} Fruits and veggies
Fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet. Well fruits and veggies are not just good for your physical health but do wonders to your mood too. They are loaded with all the nutrients and anti-oxidants that are related to making you feel good, fresh, and healthy.
6} Vitamin D
Research has proved that women who consumed more of Vitamin D were much happier and tackled depression more effectively than women who did not. A woman post-delivery and breastfeeding required about 2000 IU of Vitamin D every day. Vitamin D can be obtained by sun exposure, Vitamin D supplements, and Vitamin D rich foods like eggs, cheese, butter, nuts, seeds, and certain fish. Many cereals and breads are also fortified with Vitamin D. Eating Vitamin D rich foods are one of the best ways to boost your moods and reduce depression.
7} Dark Chocolate
Did you know that eating dark chocolate can significantly improve your mood and make you happier? Yes, dark chocolate contains serotonin and eating about an ounce of it can stimulate the happy hormones which induce happy feelings inside you.
Water is the most underestimated liquid but yet possesses the maximum benefits. Dehydration makes mood swings worse. Most commonly depression and anxiety are symptoms of dehydration. So drink at least 8 ounces or full glasses of water to stay hydrated. Drink one full glass of water just before you sit down to breastfeed your baby.
9} Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds are rich in calcium, iron, minerals, and vitamins. Post-delivery women suffer with joint pain and body aches due to the trauma they go through during labor. An achy body always causes foul mood and behavior. Adding fenugreek seeds to your diet not just helps your body recover from the pain, but also dramatically improves your mood.
Almonds are rich in healthy fats, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and essential minerals like copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. It is an ideal food to recover after child birth and labor. They not only improve your health but also help fight anxiety and depression that comes post-delivery.
It is traditionally believed that ajwain not only relives indigestion, constipation, and gas but also stimulates mood and help fight depression. Additionally, consuming ajwain helps increase lactation and breast milk which is a good feeling for the new mother.
Eating poorly can be contributing factors to mood disorders and depression. Hence, your body requires regular, healthy, and balanced diet to keep sugar levels in the body stable. Imbalanced sugar levels can greatly impact mood levels. Hence, pay attention to your food and diet post-delivery. Motherhood is a wonderful phase and you simply cannot afford to lose it due to post-partum depression.