How This Helps

Depression is found to be the most prevalent mood disorder around the world. It is estimated that approximately 350 million population is currently suffering from depression. A wide variety of pharmacological medicines along with different therapeutic techniques are available to treat depression. Sadly, a little attention is given to the food and nutrition that can affect mood of the patients with depression. It is evident through literature that deficiencies of essential food supplements can cause depression. This article will highlight the specific natural treatment for depression or prevent depression. 
Low levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and non- adrenaline are found to be related with depression. Lack of essential nutrients were found to be related with deficiencies of these neurotransmitters. Food rich in complex carbohydrates, folic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids, selenium and protein can help to overcome depression. 

Science and Research

Foods for Depression with Complex Carbohydrates

1. Grapefruit 

2. Pears

3. Strawberries

4. Multi‐grain bread

5. Brown rice

6. Low‐fat yogurt

7. Cauliflower

8. Kidney beans

Vitamin B complex

Foods Containing Folic Acid

To overcome depression foods with folic acid can helpful.  Some foods rich in folic acid are as follows:

some of them are given below. Depression symptomology is found to be associated with depression symptoms. 

1. Egg yolks                                                          

2. Dried beans                                                                           

3. Egg Yolk

4. Lentils

5. Soya products

6. Whole grain bread and wheat flour

7. Green leafy vegetables (spinach)

8. Beetroot

9. Cabbage

10. Bananas, oranges, and peaches

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

It is found that deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids can leads to depression.  These omega 3 fatty acids are not produced naturally in the body. Fish oil and flax seeds are the richest source of omega 3 fatty acids. It is also evident through literature that prevalence of depression is low in individuals living in countries where more fish is consumed more fish consumed country. Other foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids are:

1. Raspberries

2. Tofu

3. Broccoli

4. Green beans, Kidney beans

Foods containing High Amount of Selenium

Deficiency of selenium can lead to depression. Intake of Foods that are rich in selenium are:

1. Nuts 

2. Seafood and wheat flour

Foods containing Proteins

Amino Acids are essential for mind and body. Deficiency in essential amino acids can lead to depression. There are 12 essential amino acids and 8 among them Out of 12 essential amino acids, 8 cannot be naturally produced in the body. Deficiency of dopamine and serotonin on the other hand found to be is related to deficiency of amino acids. Protein diet is thus very important for amino acids. Food rich in proteins are:

1. Meat 

2. Milk and other dairy products

3. Eggs

4. Plant proteins such as beans, peas, and grains may also provide some amount of protein.

Foods that contribute to Depression

Processed food, (for example junk food) is likely to increase the chances of depression. 

Examples of processed food are: given below

1. Cheese 

2. Tinned vegetables and canned fruits

3. Savory snacks

4. Ready meals 

5. Soft drinks

6. Potato chips

7. Chocolate chips, chocolate mocha

8. Bacon

9. Burgers

A Word of Caution

Individuals living with any specific medical conditions or under restricted diet should take advice from the nutritionist or a medical doctor.  Foods which are high in carbohydrate might affect diabetes (insulin levels). Similarly, intake of proteins and dairy products can be harmful to individuals living with chronic kidney diseases.  Oil can make  thin blood thin; so, individuals who are already taking aspirin or any other blood thinners need to should consult a doctor before taking fish oil. Individuals with celiac disease and gluten allergy should avoid taking wheat, barley, and rye. 


Marohn, S. (2003). The natural medicine guide to depression. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Pub. 

Rao, T. S., Asha, M., Ramesh, B., & Rao, K. J. (2008). Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 50(2), 77. doi:10.4103/0019‐5545.42391 

Rich, S. (2014). Depression‐Free:101 natural ways to beat depression. Retrieved from

Lin, P., & Su, K. (2007). A Meta‐Analytic Review of Double‐Blind, Placebo‐Controlled Trials of Antidepressant Efficacy of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,

68(07), 1056‐1061. doi:10.4088/jcp.v68n0712

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