Diet For Depression: Mood Boosting Foods

Foods with healthy amino acids and fats can help stimulate the secretion of serotonin to promote well-being and combat depression.
Diet for Depression: Mood Boosting Foods

The diet for depression is one that  suggests a combination of foods that benefit the nervous system and the brain. Although the appearance of this problem involves many factors, some nutrients are crucial for its control.

In fact, there are a variety of foods that promote the secretion of serotonin and endorphins, better known as wellness hormones. Thanks to this,  its intake improves mood and reduces symptoms linked to this disorder.

Why is it so important to follow a diet for depression? What foods should we include in it? We know that many are unaware of the role nutrition plays. For this reason, we will review its most relevant aspects and some suggestions below.

Combat depression through eating

Depression is one of the public health problems that most affect the modern population. It is characterized by a state of deep sadness,  in which irritability, feelings of hopelessness, and loss of interest in life also increase.

woman without appetite

The disease is increasingly worrying as many ignore its symptoms until they begin to affect their quality of life. In addition, some of those affected are children and adolescents, who sometimes find it more difficult to face it.

There are many factors that are linked to its emergence,  and most are of the emotional type. However, it can also be caused by environmental factors, hormonal changes or problems related to a sedentary lifestyle.

Treatment may vary in each case, depending on the impact it generates on the affected person’s life. Regardless, it is  recommended that you make a series of dietary changes  with the aim of prioritizing foods that promote well-being. Which are they?

Recommended Nutrients for a Diet for Depression

A diet for depression respects the characteristics of a balanced and complete diet. The big difference is that it  suggests increasing the intake of some nutrients whose assimilation has an antidepressant effect. Among these, the following stand out:

  • Vitamin C:  responsible for intervening in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and reducing the effects of oxidative stress.
  • Tryptophan:  is an essential amino acid that acts as a natural relaxant and serotonin precursor.
  • Phenylalanine:  Another type of amino acid that stimulates the secretion of endorphins.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids:  maintain mental balance, improve concentration and prevent depression.
  • Calcium and magnesium:  intervene in the production of neurotransmitters.
  • Potassium:  calms the nervous system, reduces irritability and combats depression.

Mood Boosting Foods

Foods that contain mood-enhancing nutrients can be added to every diet for depression. It is not a question of using them as a food base, but of including them as a great complement to control symptoms. 

green leafy vegetables

Thanks to their significant magnesium content, green leafy vegetables help to balance the nervous system. Therefore, they  are advised as allies against emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.

green leafy vegetables


Nuts and other varieties of oilseeds  help promote well-being thanks to their content of omega 3, amino acids and minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

Flax seeds

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil contain omega 3 fatty acids,  recommended for regulating nervous health. These, among other things, relieve inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.


Cocoa, including that contained in dark chocolate,  is one of the most recommended foods in a diet for depression. Its amino acids increase the secretion of serotonin, the neurotransmitter of happiness.


Rich in vitamin B12 and amino acids, eggs are one of the most complete foods for the diet. These nutrients balance nervous system activity  and prevent anxiety and depression.

Other Foods for Depression

  • chia and sunflower seeds
  • Avocado
  • Orange
  • Natural yogurt
  • Lean meats
  • lean fish
  • Bean
  • Cress
  • whole grains

Prohibited Foods on a Diet for Depression

Unfortunately, when faced with a state of depression, there is a certain tendency to consume foods that are harmful to health. As a result, not only do the emotional crisis worsen, but they also  increase weight and physical sequelae. Which are they?

Donuts high in sugar
  • Stuffed meats
  • Refined sugars and derivatives
  • Soft drinks and carbonated drinks
  • Fried food and fast food
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Too much coffee
  • Confectionery
  • fatty cheeses
  • refined cereals


Mood-uplifting foods serve as allies against depression. However, to obtain medium and long term results, they  must be incorporated into a balanced and complete diet.

It is also essential to put into practice other therapeutic methods against the disorder, since nutrition is not enough. A professional in psychological care can determine which other guidelines should be included in the treatment.

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