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Foods That Fight Depression


The relationship between food and health, specifically mental health, has had its controversies over the years. Some might say to stick to medications and therapy while others believe in the healing power of food. According to a report published in The World Journal of Psychology, a growing number of studies, including the first randomized controlled trial on this subject, suggest that food choices “may play a role in the treatment and the prevention of brain-based disorders, particularly depression.” Twelve of the 34 essential nutrients in this new report were identified as relating to the prevention and treatment of depressive disorders. These 12 nutrients include:

  1. Folate

  2. Iron

  3. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids

  4. Magnesium

  5. Potassium

  6. Selenium

  7. Thiamine

  8. Vitamin A

  9. Vitamin B6

  10. Vitamin B12

  11. Vitamin C

  12. Zinc

How They Help

By incorporating more fresh and raw foods into your diet, you are enhancing your gut health. Those microorganisms produce numerous neurochemicals. These neurochemicals made by gut bacteria can play a factor in mood, as well as other neurological functions. Therefore, consuming certain foods and nutrients will balance your mood and help lift any depression. 

What Foods to Eat

The foods listed below have been taken from The World Journal of Psychology and are in the categories of animal foods and plant foods. They are listed in an order of which the foods at the top are the most important and help the best. As you get lower, the benefits decrease. 

Animal Foods

  1. Oyster

  2. Liver and organ meals (spleen, kidneys, heart)

  3. Clam

  4. Mussels

  5. Octopus

  6. Crab

  7. Goat

  8. Tune

  9. Smelt

  10. Bluefish

Plant Foods

  1. Watercress

  2. Spinach

  3. Mustard, turnip, or beet greens

  4. Lettuces, red cabbage

  5. Swiss chard

  6. Fresh herbs

  7. Peppers

  8. Kale

  9. Pumpkin

  10. Broccoli

In our modern and hectic lifestyles, eating a well-balanced diet is not always easy. Some families have created urban gardens to grow their own vegetables. “Farmers Markets” are gaining in popularity among populations residing in the suburbs and larger cities. Supermarkets and whole-foods stores are supplying more organic-based foods. 

Circle4Parents can also help. We have coaches who are specifically trained and educated in dietary related behaviors. Our coaches can further coach on and explain dietary guidelines, refer to food choice, dietary patterns and behaviors that meet requirements for essential nutrients.


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