Is there a diet that can help improve mood and help reduce depression naturally?
by Healthsoup

Is there a diet that can help improve mood and help reduce depression naturally?


Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

There is no specific diet for improving mood and decreasing depression, but there are things you can do and some foods you can eat that will help your brain.

Eat! Skipping meals and starving your brain and body will definitely put you in a sad mood. If you tend to suffer with depression, eating regular, smaller meals throughout the day may help to alleviate some of your symptoms by not only keeping your blood sugar levels more consistant, but also reducing some of the anxiety that that comes from food and eating choices.

Your brain needs fat so make sure your diet has enough "good" fats such as olive oil, nuts, avocados. In addition, carbohydrates are essential to keep your brain functioning so make sure to eat whole grains.

Some studies have shown that a deficiency in B vitamins can be linked to depression for reasons unknown. Make sure that your diet is rich in B vitamins which can be found in meat, eggs, seafodd, dark leafy greens, legumes and whole grains.

Think Thanksgiving and eat a diet that has plenty of tryptophan-rich foods for a calming effect. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and low tryptophan levels have been shown to trigger depression in some people. Tryptophan can be found in turkey, beef, eggs, dark leafy greens and some dairy products.

Omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in fish (salmon, tuna), nuts and seeds, are necessary for healthy brain development and function. The studies regarding their role in depression are mixed, but some show that they help with depression.

Drink plenty of water to make sure that you are not dehydrated. Since water makes up a large percentage of your body, it is imperative that you make sure you replacing any losses.

Limit items that may bring on depression syptoms like alcohol, caffeine, added sugar and highly processed foods.

Eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats that you feel good about is the first step to helping you enhance your mood.

Kaytlin Reeves

Great information, I am going to try and incorporate all of these into my nutrition/lifestyle.

Need Personalized Diet Advice?

Get 1-on-1 coaching with a US Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Achieve health & fitness goals with reliable, science-based diet advice.