10 Best Foods for Depression and Anxiety Relief

It is estimated that 25 percent of Canadians suffer from a degree of depression. The reasons do vary, from the biological to the societal, but there are plenty of ways to alleviate this mental health problem, including a visit with a professional therapist.  However, depression can also be alleviated through the foods that you eat. It begins with your diet, which is only common sense.

Think about it: Will a kale salad topped with pumpkin seeds, eggs, and cherry tomatoes with an avocado dressing do more for your health or will a trip to McDonald’s give you a healthy boost? If you found this blog post by searching for “best foods for depression”, there are indeed some certain foods that you can eat for curing depression – or at least help alleviate the symptoms of depression.

When you’re looking to overhaul your diet, you need to consider the top anti-depressant nutrients, and there are 12 of them:

  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Thiamine
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

Now, which foods have these nutrients? Here are the 10 best foods for depression and anxiety relief:

1. Coffee

Coffee is actually one of the best foods for depression. Who doesn’t feel great after a cup of coffee? There is something that just isn’t comforting from a cup of java, but it also gives us a dose of happiness. How come? The studies have found that coffee extends a positive effect on inflammation and can reverse low dopamine levels in the brain. You may not cure your depression with a bucket of coffee all day every day, but it can complement your strategy.

2. Pumpkin Seeds

Forget Prozac; there’s another cheaper and natural alternative that is about the same size: pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are great antidepressants because they contain an amino acid that boosts production of serotonin in your brain, which is known as tryptophan.

You can eat these seeds in their shells like baseball players, or you can enjoy them on their own.

3. Eggs

Eggs may be one of the best foods for depression, but they are also good for a whole host of other health issues. Why? Well, eggs are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, iodide, protein, and zinc – all things that are meant to enhance your mood.

Remember, according to the experts, it doesn’t really matter if you buy free-range or omega-3 enriched eggs. They are all the same and provide a plethora of benefits.

4. Cherry Tomatoes

Yes, it is true, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find cherry tomatoes in the supermarket these days. Ostensibly, we can only get our hands on grape tomatoes, which are inferior to the delicious taste and texture of cherry tomatoes.

That said, cherry tomatoes can be an antioxidant tool to fight inflammation that boosts depression. One more thing: if you want to enjoy some cherry tomatoes, then be sure to add some oil olive since they can improve lycopene (the antioxidant that resides in the skin) absorption.

5. Dark Leafy Greens

Kale, spinach, collard greens, and Swiss chard. It is these dark leafy greens that can certainly fight against every single type of inflammation throughout the brain. Moreover, these greens contain a variety of vitamins that can improve your overall health.

6. Avocados

A great pick-me-up at anytime of the day is an avocado: avocado on toast for breakfast, a salad topped with avocado dressing for lunch, or avocado rolls for dinner.

Avocados are described as power foods because they consist of healthy fat that your brain demands in order to operate smoothly. Plus, avocados offer oleic acid, which has been found to help alleviate depression, boost sleep, and help brain health.

7. Beans

Let’s be honest: we probably don’t eat enough beans because we’re scared of emitting some foul odours and loud sounds from a certain crevice of our body. But it’s time you start adding them to your meals, either as a complement or as a substitute.

We know that beans offer fiber that is great for heart health, losing weight, and combat diabetes. But many are unaware of the fact that beans are great for your mood because your body digests beans slowly, a process that stabilizes blood sugar levels.

So, add some fava beans, white navy beans, or pinto beans to your next dish.

8. Cruciferous Vegetables

Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables. You should always listen to your mother.

Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts, have been proven to help you boost brain power. These highly nutritious veggies have been linked to lower chronic disease risks and diminishing depression.

9. Mussels

If you can afford it, be sure to purchase a handsome portion of oysters, clams, and mussels for a meal. Bivalves, which are soft-bodied invertebrates in a two-part hinged shell, have scored quite high on studies that assess depression-fighting foods. What’s the reason? They’re filled with B-12, high protein levels, and selenium.

10. Dark Chocolate

Well, the moment you have been waiting for: a delicious sweet that can make the list of fighting your depression. While a box of Sara Lee cheesecake and a box of Oreo cookies might lift you up for two seconds, it will not provide a long-term remedy to curing your depression. But you know what will help? Dark chocolate. And, thankfully, more sweet products are being comprised with dark chocolate!

You could take pills that will only mask your depression, or you could completely change your diet to incorporate more vegetables. It is entirely up to you. The latter is a better option because you can improve your overall health, and not just your brain. Before you know it, you’ll be snacking on pumpkin seeds all day long.