8 Foods to Eat and Avoid: Diet Strategies for Depression

    Miranda Davis August 23, 2021

    If you feel depressed due to loneliness, visiting one of the best dating sites 2021 may seem like an activity that's way more fun than being miserable. While depression can often make you feel like you're in deep water, there are millions of people suffering from depression around the globe. Regardless of what's causing your depression, there are certain foods you should eat or avoid in your diet while battling this disease.

    There is solid proof that changing the diet, even while medication remains the same, can break down the cycle of depression and anxiety. If you are suffering from depression, it is an important first step to take charge and start with a good diet for depression.


    How Diet Affects Depression

    The link between diet and depression is quite simple. Many researchers believe it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, namely serotonin, and dopamine, which are directly responsible for mood regulation.

    Serotonin helps regulate moods giving you a sense of happiness and wellbeing, while dopamine helps motivate you to do things, eat certain foods or engage in certain activities. When there is an imbalance, it can lead to negative emotions such as depression.

    Therefore, the question is, what is the best diet for depression?

    A good diet for depression will incorporate foods that reduce the symptoms and promote proper mental health. Studies show that people who maintain a proper balance in their diet are 32% less likely to suffer from depression than those who eat an unhealthy diet.

    What Diet Is Good for Depression?

    The most effective diet for depression focuses on eating healthy whole foods. These are foods that can help you achieve mental health while maintaining normal body weight. They include fish and seafood, eggs, beans, and nuts.

    Therefore, what kind of diet helps with depression? One example is the Mediterranean diet, rich in olive oil, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. Another good alternative is the body ecology diet for depression that seeks to restore the gut, stomach, and other organs with good bacteria. Rather than attempting to simply eliminate all bad food from your diet, this approach works by restoring what's been damaged for you to function optimally again. 

    It doesn't have to be a restrictive diet that can do more harm than good. All you have to do is vary your diet and include these wholesome foods.

    Foods That Can Help With Depression


    1: Omega Three Fatty Acids

    The best diet for depression and weight loss is to eat food rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that Omega-3s are effective in treating depression and boosting mental health. Omega-3s are also anti-inflammatory, which has been shown to improve blood circulation in the brain and reduce inflammation in many body parts. Depression is hard to cope with and treat, but you can get better fast if you incorporate the right foods into your diet.

    Good sources to get Omega-three fatty acid foods include

    • fish like Mackerel, cod liver, and salmon
    • nuts and grains
    • walnuts


    2: Probiotics

    Probiotics are organisms that promote a healthy immune system. Studies indicate that incorporating good bacteria in the diet can prevent depression and ease symptoms of mental illness. They also show that people with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders.

    Choosing a diet with foods that promote good microorganisms helps combat these illnesses. Fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir increase gut bacteria levels and help improve overall health and wellbeing.

    3: Foods Rich in Selenium

    Selenium is a mineral that's not only touted as having remarkable antioxidant properties but also helps lower the risk of developing depression. Including selenium in your diet may aid in reducing depressive-like symptoms and help you recover more quickly from depression. The best way to get enough selenium in your diet is through foods like

    • Brazil nuts
    • beef
    • poultry
    • seafood


    Diet for Depression Foods to Avoid

    •   Refined Grains

    One of the best diets for clinical depression is reducing your intake of refined grains in your diet. Processed grains are usually high in carbohydrates and sugar and low in fiber and other nutrients.

    Studies have shown that individuals with depression exhibit low energy, fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog when consuming refined grains in their diet. Therefore, it's wise to avoid sugars or refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and sugary drinks; instead, eat whole wheat bread that retains all the nutrients.

    •       Cut Alcohol

    One of the most effective and convenient ways to treat depression is to cut out alcohol. Cutting out these beverages dramatically improves your mood and energy, reducing symptoms by as much as half. Reducing alcohol intake can even prevent new episodes of depression before it happens.

    It is recommended to limit the amount of alcohol you drink to not more than one drink per day or replace them with healthier alternatives like natural juices or water.

    •   Saturated Fats

    Saturated fats found in animal products and foods like butter, cheese, beef, poultry skin greatly trigger depression. In addition, they raise the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and weight gain if eaten in excess.

    Experts say diets low in fat can lower the symptoms of depression and stress in those with anxiety or depression-like symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that eating healthy doesn't mean eating everything in sight. With every diet, you must practice moderation. To avoid these harmful fats, replace them with unsaturated fats from plants like olive oil, sunflower oil, consume low-fat dairy products, and limit red meat intake. Ensure your diet has more lean meats, fruits, and vegetables.  

    •   Caffeinated Drinks

    Caffeine can be a mild stimulant that can help provide an energy boost when tired or depressed. However, too much of this substance in your diet can build up in your body and cause problems such as headaches, dizziness, stomach ache, and insomnia.

    Caffeine can be found in the following foods:

    • coffee
    • tea
    • energy drinks
    • soda
    • chocolate

    Reducing your caffeine intake also helps you stay focused on tasks at hand and reduces the likelihood of becoming anxious or agitated when faced with new situations which may require creative problem-solving.

    Caffeinated drinks like coffee and energy drinks can be replaced with healthy options such as green tea, herbal drinks, or water.

    Final Thoughts

    One of the most important things to remember about depression is how your diet influences it – what you eat or drink every day has a huge impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. As outlined in this article, the foods you include in your diet can help with your mood regulation, while those you need to avoid are going to make your symptoms worse. We hope that these tips will help lead you towards a life free from depression. What other foods can we include in our list? Let us know in the comments!


    Miranda DavisAuthor bio:

    Miranda Davis is a freelance writer in the relation and psychology area. Miranda is interested in such topics as building healthy relationships between people, love/sex compatibility, and how to find the right balance in life in general. She is currently doing specific research on the topic. Miranda loves cooking and long-distance walking.







    Journaling Power Book Header