5 Foods That Help with Depression: Quick Recipes to Boost Your Mood

April 27, 2023

avocado toast and eggs

Incorporating Nutrient-Rich Foods into Your Diet for Improved Mental Health

Depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While there are many treatment options available, including therapy and medication, incorporating certain foods into your diet may also help alleviate symptoms of depression. In this article, we will explore some of the best foods to eat for depression and provide quick and easy recipes to help you incorporate them into your daily meals.

1: Leafy Greens

The Power of Leafy Greens for Mental Health

Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that support brain health. They are especially high in folate, which is important for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is often low in people with depression.

spinach omelette

Recipe: Spinach and Feta Omelette Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour the eggs over the spinach and let cook until set, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top of the eggs and fold the omelette in half.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

2: Berries

Boosting Your Mood with Sweet and Tart Berries

Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, are packed with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and promote brain health. They are also a great source of vitamin C, which has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.

strawberry smoothie

Recipe: Berry Smoothie Bowl Ingredients:
  • 1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Toppings of your choice (granola, sliced almonds, chia seeds, etc.)


  1. In a blender, combine the berries, banana, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and honey.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour the smoothie into a bowl.
  4. Top with your desired toppings.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

3: Fatty Fish

The Power of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Depression

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve brain function. Studies have also shown that omega-3s may help alleviate symptoms of depression.

baked salmon

Recipe: Baked Salmon with Lemon and Dill Ingredients:
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle the fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Top each fillet with a few slices of lemon and sprinkle with fresh dill.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

4: Nuts and Seeds

The Benefits of Nuts and Seeds for Mental Health

Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, are a good source of magnesium, which has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression. One study found that magnesium supplementation improved symptoms of depression in patients with magnesium deficiency.

almond butter toast with banana

Recipe: Almond Butter and Banana Toast


  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of cinnamon


  1. Toast the bread to desired level of doneness.
  2. Spread the almond butter on the toast.
  3. Add sliced banana on top of the almond butter.
  4. Drizzle honey over the banana and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  5. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious breakfast!

5: Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that have been linked to a reduced risk of depression. Additionally, dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a compound that can help improve mood.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Berry Smoothie


  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Combine all ingredients, except for the dark chocolate chips, in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add dark chocolate chips and blend briefly until they are roughly chopped.
  4. Pour into a glass and enjoy your delicious and mood-boosting smoothie!


Eating a healthy and balanced diet can have a significant impact on mental health and help alleviate symptoms of depression. Including these foods in your diet and trying out the recipes provided can be an easy and enjoyable way to take care of yourself and your mental health. However, it is important to remember that food alone cannot cure depression and seeking professional help from a therapist may be necessary.

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