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Dealing with depression? 3 foods that may help

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “major depressive disorder is characterized by symptoms that lead to emotional and physical problems reducing a person’s ability to function appropriately while engaging in activities of daily living.” These symptoms can lead to changes in appetite, loss of energy, increased fatigue, and change in sleeping habits.

Including these 3 food items may help decrease depression.


Sure, you’ve heard that including fatty fish in your fare is good for you, but chances are you haven’t thought about fish intake to reduce depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are not synthesized by the body and therefore need to be obtained through dietary sources.

The reason they are desirable should you be dealing with depression? They lower inflammation that is a main contributor the disorder.

Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids include mackerel, salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.


Curcumin, the significant compound of turmeric, offers anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and neuroprotective properties signifying utility in the treatment of depression.

A 2017 meta-analysis study reviewed six clinical trials in which curcumin was compared to a placebo on a total of 377 patients. Results demonstrated anti-depressant properties upon use of curcumin.

Turmeric powder can be used as a spice with various food dishes to advocate therapeutic effects of curcumin.


Polyphenols, like those found in green tea, exert anti-depressant properties due to a mechanism that inhibits the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. When the HPA axis is in overdrive, there is an increase in the steroid hormone cortisol which contributes to the pathology of depression.

A daily cup of green tea may be accommodating for adverse effects of depression.

If you are taking medications, please educate yourself about any possible interactions. The foods listed here are not a cure; they are meant to serve as assistance to depression.


What Is Depression?. Psychiatryorg. 2017. Available at: Accessed April 30, 2017.

Clinical Use of Curcumin in Depression: A Meta-Analysis. Ng QX, Koh SS, Chan HW, Ho CY. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2017 Feb 21. pii: S1525-8610(16)30675-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.12.071.

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