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Depression(LESS) Foods: Foods that May Help Prevent Depression

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Depression is twice as likely to affect women than men. For that reason, women need to be twice as prepared to fight the odds. Below are some foods that may not completely prevent depression, but should help lift your mood and help prevent, rather than encourage depression.

First, folic acid is essential to the production of neurotransmitters that send messages to different parts of the brain. People with low folic acid levels have low serotonin in the brain. Serotonin affects appetite, anger, aggression, mood, body temperature, sleep, metabolism, and sexuality.

Some studies have shown links to the connection of folic acid and depression and others have not. Be careful not to consume too much folic acid because it may hide signs of a B12 deficiency.

Foods with Folic Acid:
-Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
-Black Beans and other legumes
-Citrus Fruits

Secondly, omega-3 fatty acids are required for human health, but are not able to be manufactured by the body. These acids reduce inflammation and are concentrated in the brain. Without a sufficient amount of omega-3’s, a person is more at risk for depression.

Omega-3, which is an anti-inflammatory, competes with omega-6, which is an inflammatory. Excess omega-6 fatty acids are associated with heart attacks, strokes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and arrhythmia. While it is impossible to cut omega-6’s out completely, an optimal ratio would be 4 omega 6’s to every 1 omega 3, versus the average 10:1 or 20:1 ratios found in most Western diets.

Foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids:
-Chia Seeds
-Grass-fed organic meats/ cheeses
-Fish Oils- Like those found in salmon, tuna and herring.

Foods with high levels of omega-6 fatty acids:
-Safflower oil
-Sunflower oil
-Corn and other vegetable oils
-High fat meats (red meats) /cheeses

Lastly, stabilizing blood sugar is a significant cause of irritability and the dips and spikes in blood sugar levels that can cause anxiety, depression, fatigue, and headaches. Caffeine and refined sugar are detrimental. More than 700 mg of caffeine (four of five cups of coffee) a day can provoke these noticeable side effects.

Blood Sugar Controlling Foods:
-Brown rice has vitamin B1 and B3 and folic acid. Glucose released gradually, decreasing mood swings. Whole-grain oats like kamut, spelt and quinoa vs. white flour and other processed grains.

-Broccoli and blueberries when combined with a protein in non-red meats stabilize blood sugar because they are high in fiber and starch.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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