Foods that support Nutrition in depression.

What are antidepressant foods?

About 12 nutrients in our diets are known to be helpful in preventing and recovering from depression. There are studies that have tested the density of these nutrient in both animal and plant based foods.

What nutrients are preventive and supportive for Depression?

Twelve Antidepressant Nutrients are known to have a rôle in prevention and treatment of depressive disorders: Folate, iron, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc.

What are the foods that are high in the above nutrients?

The animal based foods that are rich in the above nutrients include oysters and mussels, various seafoods, and organ meats. The plant based foods include leafy greens, lettuces, peppers, and cruciferous vegetables.

What rôle does EPA, DHA and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids play in depression and other psychiatric disorders?

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids constitute key regulating factors of neuro-transmission, neuro-genesis, and neuro-inflammation and are fundamental for development, functioning, and aging of the Central Nervous System (CNS). These processes are effected in various psychiatric disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Bottom Line

Though the research data is not fully consistent about Omega-3 Fatty Acid, there is enough data that supports the benefits of EPA supplement in a dose of 1-2 g/ day and a ratio of EPA/DHA of more than 2 is beneficial for depression as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .


A better diet can help, but it’s only one part of treatment. It’s important to note that just like you cannot exercise out of a bad diet, you also cannot eat your way out of feeling depressed or anxious.

We should be careful about using food as the only treatment for mood, please consult a professional for a complete assessment of your treatment needs. Food is not going to impact serious forms of depression and thoughts of suicide, and it is important to go to an emergency room or contact your doctor if you are experiencing thoughts about harming yourself.


Dietary Recommendations for prevention of depression-

International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research Practice Guidelines for Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder-

Antidepressant foods: An evidence-based nutrient profiling system for depression

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