20 Mood-Boosting Foods for Depression


If you are in depression or anxiety, it means that you need to make simple changes in your diet. Food plays an important role in boosting our mood and has an impact on our outlook on life. Apart from this, it gives us the nutrients required by the body. A poor mood harms our immune system, slow down weight loss, and lead to headaches. The following twenty mood-boosting foods are proven to leave you feeling better. Let’s take a closer look:

1 Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds used for topping the dishes are powerful for boosting mood. The benefit arises from its stem which has tyrosine. The dopamine level of the brain gets boosted which releases the feel-good hormone. You can sprinkle the sesame seeds on smoothies and salads to give them a crunchy taste.


2 Nuts

Apart from delicious snacks, nuts have serotonin, a feel-good chemical released, when you are depressed. They are full of healthy fats and antioxidants. Don’t have too much of nuts in one go as they are high in calories and fats.


3 Grapes

Grapes are a delicious fruit loved by everyone. They have flavonoids which is an antioxidant which affects our mood. Don’t switch to other versions of grapes, which is a depressant. Just consume the fruit in its natural state.


4 Strawberries

Among all the berries, strawberries are the most loved by all. They are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Manganese. They act as a defence against degeneration of brain while releasing the feel-good chemicals.


5 Salmon

Salmon is great for boosting the mood, as well as, for brain health. It contains Vitamin B12 which is beneficial for our mental health and depression.


6 Avocado

Avocado has a lot of benefits relating to the brain and heart. It is an essential food item when you are looking for boosting your mood. They are natural hormone balancers which ensure that the brain releases the feel-good chemicals making you feel great.


7 Ghee

Yes, you read that right. Ghee is also an essential item to improve our mood. It is a clarified butter loaded with Fats and Vitamin D. It heals the digestive tract which leads to better digestion and gut bacteria which supports our mood. You can prepare ghee at home rather than buying from the market.


8 Chocolate

Yes, Chocolate makes everyone happy. It contains compounds like phenylethylamine which boosts endorphins and anandamide, known as feel-good chemicals. It is rich in iron, magnesium, and antioxidants which make us relax. It is helpful only when you eat it mindfully.


9 Eggs

Eggs are high in Protein, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. They have choline which supports the nervous system, produces neurotransmitters, and improves our mood. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants protect and preserve the brain, and in the process leads to a positive mood.


10 Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes contain a lot of nutrients which boost our mood like Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Fiber. There are many ways to consume them. You can have them steamed, in the form of chips, add them to salads, or use them in soups.


11 Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers are rich in Vitamin C, which improves cognition and enables neurotransmitter function. Consuming Vitamin C rich diets improve mood and reduce stress. They are packed with antioxidants which prevent many cancers including lung and prostate.


12 Lentils

Lentils are a good source of folate which is a Vitamin B that develops the nervous system. Deficiency of folate is associated with depression and adding more of it will improve your mood. Low levels of Vitamin B6 are also associated with depression.


13 Chia Seeds

Chia is the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids. It contains nutrients like fiber, protein, calcium, and iron. It is a good source of magnesium which reduces stress and anxiety. They are a great egg replacer and are delicious when used in baked goods. You can add them in smoothies to enhance their taste.


14 Green Leafy Vegetables

Green Leafy Vegetables are loaded with fiber and other nutrients like Vitamin B and Iron. Deficiency of iron leads to anxiety and altered emotional behavior. Iron helps to produce energy and more energy leads to feeling us better.


15 Almonds

Apart from boosting our brain power, Almonds improve our mood too. It is rich in many nutrients like Magnesium, Fiber, and Vitamin E. It combats free radical damage to the brain and improves memory and cognition. You can have them as a snack or make almond milk or use its pulp in a variety of dishes.


16 Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, certain yogurts, and kombucha are rich in probiotics. Probiotics alleviate depression as they contain serotonin. Serotonin is produced in the digestive tract, and if our gut health is improved, then it automatically boosts our mood. It also influences the behavior and our health.


17 Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds are rich in Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. If you have nut allergies, you can swap it with the sunflower seeds. You can combine it with dark chocolate for an extra dose to mood your boost.


18 Green Tea

Sipping a cup of green tea can boost your mood as it soothes your senses. Drinking two or three cups of green tea reduces depression. It has a nutrient like L-theanine, an amino acid which fights anxiety. It also has caffeine which is good enough to pick you up when you are feeling down.


19 Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and have many brain-boosting benefits. It contains flavonoid, an antioxidant which improves memory, regulates mood, and protects the brain from aging. According to the study, it has been found that blueberries contain anti-inflammatory chemicals which are helpful in treating PTSD and other mental health problems.


20 Bananas

Bananas contain Tryptophan; an amino acid, Vitamins A, B6, and C, Fiber, Phosphorous, Carbohydrates, Potassium, and Iron. Carbohydrates help in the absorption of Tryptophan and Vitamin B6 converts the Tryptophan into Serotonin which a mood-boosting hormone. It also aids sleep. Since it can raise the levels of Serotonin, Tryptophans have been used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression.