What Foods Can Help You When You Are Feeling Depressed

Written sad letters with sad face. Painted in blue color. Show depressed.

Anyone can feel moody, low, or sad in their lives. It happens for a short period for some people, but some experience it for a long time. The reason for it can be particular or can experience for no apparent reason. In any case, our body and mind are always affected by what we eat every day. These are the foods that are good to eat when you feel depressed.


Walnuts in a cup. Good for depressed people.

Walnuts are one of the best sources of omega-3 fats compared to other types of nuts. Omega-3 fats have been shown in multiple studies to lower your blood pressure and promote brain function.

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) researched how walnuts affect depression with about twenty-six thousand people. The research team found that people who consumed about a half cup of walnuts showed a 26% less depression score compared to people who did not consume walnuts.


Grilled salmon on a plate. Good for depressed people.

Wild-caught fish, particularly the ones that contain more oils compared to less oily types. Fishes like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, and tuna are excellent antidepressants. Research -published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health- shows that an increase in fish consumption leads to reduced symptoms of depression. The fish provides omega-3 fats and vitamin D, which play a critical role in the brain’s health. Vitamin D controls the mood and prevents depression. 

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy greens in grocery. Good for depressed people.

Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, broccoli, or asparagus are rich in folic acid. Research shows that people who are experiencing depression consume less folic acid than people who do not experience depression. Leafy greens also contain vitamin A, C, E, K, which helps maintain healthy brain function and boost the immune system.


A oven bake turkey on a plate.

Our body uses tryptophan when creating serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates appetite, sleep, mood, and pain. It can assist in getting better with depressed feelings. Chicken, duck, and turkey are known for having a rich amount of tryptophan. About 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast provides 123% of the recommended daily intake of tryptophan.


The last food that helps when feeling depressed is that the food contains high probiotics (like yogurt in the photo). Researches are actively making the link that gut health has many effects on mental health. The digestive tract is thought to produce 90 percent of the body’s serotonin. So consuming probiotics can help increase serotonin levels. 

If you tried eating one of the food on the list after reading this post, well done! Some people might say that eating just a couple of times will have no intended effect on our body and means nothing. But please remember that you tried something helpful to your own body and mental health. Looking after yourself is always a good thing. 

Read other posts of Phrens Blog.


Photo by Marcel Strauß, Mustafa akın, Sebastian Coman Photography, Scott Warman, Claudio Schwarz, Sara Cervera on Unsplash

  • Department of Health, State Government of Victoria. (2020). Depression and exerciseMore information here.
  • Borchard, T. (2017). 10 Foods I Eat Every Day to Beat Depression. EverydayHealth. More information here.

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