10 Foods That Help Improve Your Mood and Fight Depression

Although these foods are very useful for improving your mood, if you're undergoing treatment to fight depression you shouldn't stop taking it nor substitute it with them
10 Foods That Help Improve Your Mood and Fight Depression

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Certain foods contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that have beneficial properties for your heal. Actually, you can prevent and treat some disorders by including certain foods in your diet.

Thus, you can even fight depression in the most natural way. In this article, we’ll share 10 foods that help to improve your mood quickly.

Fighting depression naturally

Depression is a complex disorder that’s difficult to treat naturally because it affects the nervous system and can cause different symptoms in the body.

People who suffer from this disorder live with negativity and hopelessness, which makes any treatment difficult, because they tend to be pessimistic about any cure.

Sadness, apathy and low self-esteem are frequent characteristics of this mental imbalance.

However, fighting depression naturally is possible. We can include in our diet foods that contain nutrients that improve the functioning of the nervous system.

Thus, these foods promote processes that increase the sensations of well-being and happiness.

Improve your mood with 10 foods

1. Cacao

Improve Your Mood with cacao

Cacao is an ancestral medicinal food that is considered sacred in many cultures and has many health properties.

Among those, it helps to fight depression thanks to its phenylethylamine and tryptophan content. These substances improve the mood and increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that causes the sensation of happiness.

  • We should not confuse cacao with chocolate. Chocolate is rich in sugars and unhealthy fats and its percentage of cacao tends to be low.

2. Oranges

Citrus fruits have anti-depressive properties, both when eating them or using them as a fragrance.

Using lemon, orange, mandarin or grapefruit essential oils causes a feeling of happiness, which makes us want to use them on our skin often.

  • Oranges are one of the best fruits for increasing vitality and optimism.
  • However, we recommend eating them in the morning, because at night this could give you sleeping problems.

3. Leafy greens

Leafy greens are rich in magnesium, an essential mineral for balancing the nervous system and fighting disorders like depression and anxiety.

  • To benefit from their properties we should eat the leaves raw, in salads, juices or green smoothies.

4. Avocado


Avocado is considered a super-food.

This fruit contains such a complete set of nutrients that it is the best choice to treat any disorder, including depression.

  • Despite being rich in fats, it also contains a lot of protein and fiber, so you don’t need to worry about putting on weight from eating avocado.

5. Walnuts

Walnuts are excellent for improving your mood thanks to their high content of vitamins, minerals like magnesium, and essential fatty acids.

6. Linseed

Linseed, which you can consume as oil or as seeds, is a very nutritious food, rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids. This kind of fats is essential for people who need to achieve emotional stability and improve their health in general.

  • If you opt for linseed oil, make sure it is cold-pressed so that it maintains its properties intact.

7. Eggs


Eggs are a very complete food that we can eat every day.

  • They are rich in vitamin B12, a nutrient that is also present in sardines and dairy derivatives.
  • Low levels of B vitamins, especially B12, are related to depression.

8. Black beans

In some countries, black beans are the base of the diet, which is an excellent habit to fight depression.

  • This food is rich in thiamine or vitamin B1, which provides the brain cells with energy and promotes cognitive function. This has positive repercussions when it comes to fighting depression.

9. Watercress

The folates found in watercress contribute to slowing cognitive deterioration and prevent depressive states naturally.

  • You can add it to salads or as a garnish on any dish.

10. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds

Like black beans, sunflower seeds are rich in B vitamins like thiamine. For this reason, you can eat them daily, raw or toasted.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Health, N. C. C. for M. (2010). Depression: the Treatment and management of depression in adults (UPDATED EDITION). The NICE Guideline on the Treatment and management of depression in adults.
  • Lang, U. E., Beglinger, C., Schweinfurth, N., Walter, M., & Borgwardt, S. (2015). Nutritional aspects of depression. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry. https://doi.org/10.1159/000430229
  • Leng, G., Adan, R. A. H., Belot, M., Brunstrom, J. M., De Graaf, K., Dickson, S. L., … Smeets, P. A. M. (2017). The determinants of food choice. In Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. https://doi.org/10.1017/S002966511600286X

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.