The Depression Diet:
What Should You Be Eating?

Is there really a depression diet?

Although there is no specific depression diet for those suffering with depression, there are specific foods that can have a great effect on your mood, brain chemistry, and how you physically feel. So it is safe to say that you can support your mind and body with foods that are healthy and loaded with foods that are high in specific nutrients.

Whenever our diets are lacking in specific nutrients, it can cause us to feel run down and over long term it can even lead to illness.

Depression Diet Foods

Foods High in Antioxidants

The important role of antioxidants can't be ignored. Antioxidants are responsible for helping the body to rid itself of free radicals. Free radicals are organic molecules in your body that are responsible for tissue damage that results in aging, inflammation, allergies and they also disrupt the proper function of your organs. It is important to note that we create more free radicals during times when we are physically or emotionally stressed.

Foods that are high in antioxidants help protect your body.

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Foods such as: beans (especially small red beans), berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries), broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, red grapes (including juice and red wine), spinach, tea (black or green tea), carrots, soy, and whole grains. Small amount of antioxidants are also found in spices like cinnamon, cloves, and oregano and can also be found in some nuts.


Carbohydrates are calming foods. Believe it or not they have a great effect on your brains chemistry. Carbohydrates help produce serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an important "feel good" chemical in the brain. During depression and stress, serotonin levels are low and need to be replenished.

Complex carbohydrates are best because they have a longer effect, they keep you fuller longer, and are much better for you.

Good sources are whole grains, beans, brown rice, oatmeal, soybeans, and all fruits and vegetables.

It is important to say NO to simple carbohydrates! Simple carbohydrates are unhealthy and should only be used in moderation. Some examples of simple carbohydrates are white sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, candy, soda, baked goods made from refined flours, and almost all boxed cereals.


Protein rich foods are especially important in a depression diet. Protein rich foods that are rich in Tyrosine and Tryptophan are very important. Tyrosine and Tryptophan are simple amino acids found in specific foods and they help to boost the levels of dopamine and nor-epinephrine which are brain chemicals already in your brain. They are responsible for making you feel focused and alert.

Foods like seaweed, soy protein, cottage cheese, have some of the highest levels of Tyrosine. Some of foods highest in Tryptophan are seaweed, soy protein, sesame seeds, spinach, shrimp, lobster, crab, and turkey.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids have shown to improve cognitive function in those suffering with depression.

A depression diet that is high in oily, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines is good. Other good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are found in walnuts, flaxseed oil, soybean and canola oils.

Vitamin D has a profound effect on the brain and mood. Foods like milk, cheese, and fish are all excellent sources of vitamin D. However, sunshine provides us with the best source of Vitamin D. 10-15 minutes of sunshine per day is more than enough to provide you with adequate vitamin D. It is shown that even at a minimum, this amount at minimum 2 to 3 times a week is also enough for most people.


Some studies show that selenium rich foods have a great effect on those suffering with depression. It is important to note that selenium has not shown to make a difference in all people suffering but enough to take notice! Included in a depression diet, foods like corn, wheat, rice, walnuts, soybeans, beef, chicken, eggs, cheese, tuna, oatmeal, and turkey are good sources. Brazil nuts hold very high amounts of selenium and it's advised that you exercise caution in eating too many. It is true that too much selenium can be toxic!


Calcium also have a great effect on mood. Calcium is found in food such as milk, cheese, fish, spinach, and kale.

It is important to note that Vitamin B6 is necessary for your brain to make serotonin. At least 10mg of B6 is also necessary to metabolize any amino acid. You can find B6 in foods such as bananas, sweet potatoes, raisins, and whole grains.

Change Your Bad Habits

Stay away from alcohol, drugs, caffeine, fast foods! Also keep your sugar intake at a minimum. Visit alcohol and depression to learn more about the negative effects of alcohol.

Also, watch your weight! Science has shown that people who are depressed have a tendency to use stress eating to relieve stress. This kind of eating will only help you gain more weight and compound the problem, making you more depressed.

Are you an emotional eater? Are you addicted to food? Eating to relieve stress is unhealthy!

Recommended Reading

The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution

Overcoming Binge Eating, Second Edition: The Proven Program to Learn Why You Binge and How You Can Stop By Christopher Fairburn

What About Deficiency?

It is also important to note that vitamin deficiency can be contributing to your symptoms. Your doctor can order specific tests to check your levels if you are concerned this may be part of the problem. Deficiency is common when people do not eat enough of the right foods and have high amounts of stress in their life.

Natural Supplementation with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and even proteins are helpful and sometimes necessary to support and maintain health. Especially if you find it difficult to eat specific recommended foods. Many people find help through supplementation for their depression diet needs. Below you will find the most trusted and valued sources for supplementation.

For More Information on overcoming depression with natural remedies, please visit Natural Stress Relief.

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