The Top 10 Foods to Beat Depression

Depression is a mental state where the affected individual goes through low mood which affects his physical and mental well-being.

There are certain foods that boost our mood while some others make it worse. For example, alcohol is known as a depressant while coffee acts as an anti-depressant. In this article we are going to discuss the top ten foods that help to uplift your mood and fight depression.

Before we go into the details, here’s a note of caution: this article will be mostly targeted towards anti-depressant and mood boosting foods which is just one side of the battle against depression. Make sure that the depressed individual is under medical help. Whatever you do from your side is only an additional help and should not replace professional counseling. Also, try to connect yourself with online depression groups and communities. Always better to interact with people who are going through the same condition.

Top 10 Foods to Fight Depression

  • Berries – This includes all sorts of berries like the blue, black and even the strawberries. These are rich in anti-oxidants and helps keep an overall healthy brain. If your brain is healthy, you mood will definitely get a lift.
  • Flaxseed – Flaxseed contains omega-3 which increases the levels of serotonin. Apart from that, omega-3 is very useful, it not only tune the mood balance but also trigger and help the brain to discharge some chemicals that aids in the fight against depression. Salmon is yet another food which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Seaweed – Seaweed comes in many varieties, kelp for example, and most of them are rich in iodine. Iodine is an important mineral and an iodine deficiency can result in a lot of problems, depression being one of them.
  • Mushroom – Selenium, which is found in mushrooms, can help against depression while its deficiency can result in a higher risk of depression. Another thing about the shade loving mushroom is that when they are exposed to sunlight, just after plucking them, they become rich in Vitamin D. Now, vitamin D is an excellent thing to have if you want a better mood and it is also a vitamin which our body lack in general. Liver, sardines, fish oil, salmon etc. are all rich in vitamin D.

Apart from foods, if you want more vitamin D, you can try exposing yourself to sunlight. And talking about sunlight, it also helps to fight depression. So there you have it, the double benefit of sunlight, however on the downside there is no safe amount of sunlight prescribed so far, as exposing yourself to sunlight might give you some serious health problems that can be as bad as skin cancer. And no, if you put sun cream to protect against sunlight, your body won’t be able to produce vitamin d.

At this point, without any medical background, just on a personal view-point am going to recommend a few minutes worth of sunlight every day, especially in the morning hours when the sun is not that harsh.

  • Beets – Beet contains Folate which is a very important nutrient, as the low amount of folate in your body can result into depression. There are a number of foods that contains folate in good amount, for example lentils, edamame, okra, black beans etc. and then there is broccoli and spinach, considered not tasty by many however none can disagree about their importance in our diet. In case you are wondering about eating something tasty that contains folate then you can try orange.
  • Whole grains – An excellent source for carbohydrate which is also another way to help your body produce serotonin. Now, those of you who does not like whole grains, can try fruits as an alternative. So instead of, rice and bread, or milk, you can eat a verity of fruits.
  • Chocolate – while some people believe that the boost in the mood that chocolate brings is temporary, there is another reason why chocolate might be helpful in this regard. Chocolate is known to lower the amount of a stress hormone called cortisol. So a bit of chocolate might be helpful.
  • Saffron – This is a spice, it is used to cook foods. Saffron is considered as an anti-depressant, perhaps due to the quality of making the serotonin more freely available in the brain.
  • Lean ProteinLean chicken or meat provides our body with protein which is needed to keep our brain alert and active. Having a healthy mind helps in fighting depression.
  • Yogurt – Rich in vitamin B, which is yet another vitamin that is linked with depression. Low levels of vitamin B, that is B6, B12 etc. can lead to depression. There are a number of foods that are rich in vitamin B, for example, fish, mean, nuts, whole grains, sunflower seeds, cheese, liver, garlic etc.

To fight depression successfully, one needs more than just foods, lifestyle changes are just as much important. Also in case depression has sent you in a state of drug problem, you might need for your drug problems. However, one cannot ignore the value of balanced and complete foods. This list is not complete, so do not try to replace this list with your diet, rather try to incorporate these foods slowly and steadily in your existing diet.

Uttoran Sen

Uttoran Sen is a health blogger since 2004 whose only target in life is to stay healthy and fit. Catch him on his health blog:

One thought on “The Top 10 Foods to Beat Depression

  • August 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    For the lean protein point I’d also like to point out that animal protein also contains creatine, which has been shown to help with depressive symptoms.


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