Twelve Foods That Help Fight Depression 

Happy Chef

When you feel depressed, there are many things you can do to fight it. For instance, the food you eat directly impacts your psychological well-being. Thus, one of the most helpful steps you can take is to amend your diet to get adequate amounts of all nutrients that prevent poor mental health. If you feel the tell-tale signs of depression rearing their ugly heads, make sure you eat these twelve foods often.



The hormone serotonin helps to stabilize mood. An amino acid called tryptophan is essential for the production of serotonin. Your body cannot synthesize tryptophan, so you must get it from your diet. Walnuts are an excellent source of tryptophan. Walnuts also contain other omega-3 fatty acids, all of which help with depression and anxiety.

Green Ripe Avocado


If you are not a fan of walnuts, avocados are another excellent source of tryptophan, a key ingredient in serotonin synthesis. Avocados also have a myriad of other health benefits. Consume at least half an avocado every day. If you find the fruit bland, blend it into a salad. Alternatively, make it into guacamole and eat it with salsa.

Kale Salad

Leafy Greens

Kale, chard, collard greens, rapini, and arugula leaves are all great choices of vegetables if battling depression is your objective. They help with anxiety, support optimal brain function, and protect against cognitive decline. Ensure your stir-fries, soups, and salads contain dark leafy greens to safeguard your mental health.

Onions Cutting Board


For mental wellness, your brain requires adequate amounts of serotonin. Some compounds impede serotonin synthesis. Onions block these compounds, so your body can create more serotonin.

Onions are great eaten raw in salads or sandwiches. They taste yummy when cooked in soups, stews, stir-fries, and other hot meals. However, some people find the taste of onion too strong. If you are one such individual, consider taking onion supplements instead. That way, you can enjoy the health benefits onions offer without enduring the taste.

Cooking With Mushrooms


Mushrooms can help you combat depression and anxiety for two reasons. Firstly, they contain a lot of potassium, which can help with anxiety. Secondly, mushrooms are rich in an antioxidant called ergothioneine. This antioxidant helps reduce oxidative stress on all cells, including those in the brain. Less oxidative stress on the brain cells may help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

The cuisines of many nations include mushroom dishes. Thus, it is easy to find recipes that include mushrooms in cookbooks and online. Do you like garlic? If so, a simple, vegan-friendly, yet delicious way to cook mushrooms is to sauté them in olive oil with fresh garlic.



When you eat a handful of blueberries each day, it can help to regulate your emotions and stabilize your mood. There is an antioxidant flavonoid called anthocyanin in blueberries. This flavonoid makes you less prone to depression and reduces inflammation throughout the body.

Blueberries taste great on their own, in fruit salads, in yogurts, in oatmeal, and as a pie filler. You can also blend blueberries into a juice or smoothie.

Baked Beans Bowl


Beans are full of tryptophan, the amino acid needed for serotonin synthesis. There is also a lot of magnesium in beans. Magnesium can help to boost your mood and overall mental health.

You can have beans on toast, make soup with them, add them to salads, or use them to make dips. If you go online, you will find countless international recipes with beans. For instance, cuisine from many South American countries often uses beans. You are sure to find a recipe that appeals to you.

Chia Seeds


Seeds such as chia seeds and flaxseeds can help you to beat depression and poor mental health. Such seeds contain beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. Having plenty of fiber in your diet reduces inflammation in the gut. This reduced inflammation means it is easier for your body to absorb more nutrients the body uses to make neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.

Muesli, breakfast cereal, and certain types of bread contain plenty of healthy seeds. You can also buy trail mixes with seeds, nuts, and dried fruits.

Tomato Salad


Tomatoes can help you keep depression at bay because they have a carotenoid called lycopene in them. Lycopene is an antioxidant. It can help combat stress damage to brain neurons. Eat tomatoes at least twice a week to help with depression symptoms.

Tomatoes make a superb addition to salads and sandwiches. However, tomatoes have more nutritional value once cooked. To get the maximum nutrition out of your tomatoes, cook them in a pasta sauce.

Grilled Salmon

Oily Fish

Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Your body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids into lipid mediators. Having more lipid mediators in your bloodstream can boost your mental health. Avoid consuming oily fish more than twice per week because it also contains a dangerous metal called mercury, which does not benefit brain health.

There are many ways to include oily fish in your diet. For instance, you can make a smoked salmon sandwich, eat some sushi, or use mackerel and mayonnaise to create a delicious creamy paste to enjoy on bread.

Grilled Chicken Dinner


Chicken and turkey contain a lot of tryptophan, which your body uses to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. If you are not a vegetarian, eat some poultry daily to keep your brain working well and your mental health strong.

Chicken and turkey are both versatile. You can use them to make so many dishes it would take too long to list them in this article. If you are looking for something uncomplicated to make, you can roast poultry, make it into a pasta sauce, put it in a curry, or have it in a sandwich.

Yogurt and Raspberries

Probiotic Dairy Products

Add probiotic dairy products such as drinks and live yogurt to your diet if you wish to avoid feeling blue. Microorganisms in these probiotic dairy products stimulate the production of neurotransmitters that directly impact your mood, appetite, and circadian rhythm. Why not start your day with a probiotic dairy drink and see whether it improves your mental health?

Eat Them Often

You can eat most foods mentioned in this article daily. The only exception is oily fish. Oily fish contains the metal mercury, so you should eat it no more than twice a week. To help avoid depression and anxiety, eat all the other foods daily, if possible.

A Happier Life

By amending your diet to include more depression-fighting foods, you help to guarantee a happier life in the future. Why not start looking online and in cookbooks for inspiration so you can eat them more often?

5 Comments on "Twelve Foods That Help Fight Depression "

  1. Thank you for sharing which foods contain tryptophan as while it’s not prescribed as much these days. Lithium causes deadly reactions with tryptophan.

  2. Other than shell fish, I’ve nver been able stand the taste of most fish. No matter how I try it just doesn’t get past the gag reflex. When growing up,my mother fried fish. To my brother & I,it always smelled & tasted like the bottom of the lake bed.
    I wish that I could eat & enjoy salmon & other healthy fish, its discouraging. Any suggestions that I can try? Thank you.

  3. HealthCareProvider | September 6, 2022 at 7:15 am | Reply

    Oh please, please stop. Food does not improve one’s mood instantly. It is not going to help someone with major depressive disorder to change their diet. Therapy will help. Sometimes prescribed antidepressants help. But diet is not a fix all – please just stop with this.

  4. Thank you so much for this equipping information. Awesome 👍 It is truly amazing how consuming certain foods can increase well being & I have personally experienced this for myself! So glad to see this helpful, yet widely unknown & misunderstood information being shared. Thank you. PS None of these suggestions sound hurtful or harmful (unless you are allergic), so if it might help you, & it WON’T hurt you, then it’s worth a try, right? Do what you can to be a healthier happier person & don’t listen to the ignorant, confused & criticizing voices.

  5. Jga – if you can take hemp oil, it is an excellent source of Omega 3. Also, avocado and many tree nuts are good food sources. I also don’t care for any seafood, and I’m allergic to most nuts and also flax. Avocado only helps my LDL go from a lifetime at around 20 to 28-30 that remained consistent over time, where hemp oil gummies get me to over 40 in short time, I haven’t taken it long enough yet for a second blood test over extended time to know if it will get to an even better level or not. If you take any medication or other supplements, discuss with your doctor or a pharmacist to be safest.

    For the other poster, don’t shame for bringing information to help your body be more normal. Deficiencies are real, this may help in those cases and also most people don’t need meds or therapy – for those with ongoing life issues or with deeper problems obviously eating a mountain of walnuts, berries, and fish won’t solve full on depression. But, it will help give your body the nutrition you may be lacking like my very poor LDL, even discussing with a nurse eventually led to eating more avocado more frequently and it noticeably helped. For that who get all their food from a box, which is a lot of people, they may be deficient in lots of things that traditionally doctors would say we get from most any diet. If anything else, it encourages a balanced diet and maybe even token benefits from feeling good about trying to take care of yourself. Laughter is the best medicine – please supplement.

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