“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”  – Glenn Close.

Mental health is finally getting the respect it deserves.  Brave stars everywhere are becoming a voice and starting a conversation that needs to be had in our country.   Mariah Carey just discussed her diagnosis of Bipolar disorder with People Magazine.   My favorite celeb mom Chrissy Teigen has been open about her Postpartum depression.   Even everyones favorite ginger Prince Harry has discussed his anxiety and need to seek professional help.

Mental health is not shameful.  It’s important to keep your mind as healthy as you keep your body!    I have struggled with bouts of depression, PTSD and severe anxiety.  It’s something I need to be more open about.  But it’s taken me years to admit I have this problem.  So just admitting to you here, is a big deal for me.    I’m going to talk more about it soon, when I’m ready.

But this post is about foods that may help fight depression and anxiety.    Foods aren’t a cure, EVERYONE deals with mental health issues off and on during their lives.  Therapy, Yoga, Church, Hobbies are other tools that you need to consider.  (MY DM’s on Instagram are always open if you need an ear, I would put my phone number on here but that sounds like a disaster – DM me and I’ll give you my phone number).    Food is a tool to help your brain get everything it needs to feel it’s best.    Certain vitamin deficiencies can cause mental health issues, so lets start with a healthy brain and body!

Foods that help depression and anxiety –

foods that fight depression

Fish.  I don’t eat fish (or meat) but every single nutritionist I’ve ever spoken to recommends fish. Multiple studies report increased fish consumption reduced depression, in men and women. “Low amounts of the amino acid tyrosine, present in high amounts in salmon, has been implicated in depression. ”    Please choose a sustainable fish option y’all and grill out a nice piece of fish.   Or head to a sushi restaurant with your best friends.

Yogurt.  There have been so many studies lately linking the gut with the brain.  The evidence is looking good that probiotic microbes in the diet can produce and deliver serotonin and other neurotransmitters.  Serotonin is the hormone that puts you in a great mood.  So it’s my favorite hormone.

foods that help fight depression

Broccoli.  Broccoli contains the highest amount of chromium than any other veggie. Chromium plays a crucial role in the synthesis of serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin (all of the good mood hormones.)  Plate it with that fish above for a good mood meal!

Olive Oil, or EVOO like that happy little cook Rachel Ray calls it.  Research studies show a link to improved mood, reduced depression with the Mediterranean diet lifestyle.   Mediterranean people are happier people in general and the foundation of their diet is Olive Oil.   It’s such a yummy healthy fat.    Sauté that broccoli above in olive oil or dip a fresh loaf of bread in Olive oil.

Spinach.  Spinach boasts the highest amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, tons of fiber, vitamins A and K, and a host of other nutrients–all with a relationship to brain function.  Having a healthy brain is one of the first steps to being mentally healthy.    Plus its so versatile.  Toss it in a sandwich, or in a salad, add a handful to your eggs.  It’s one of my favorite vegetables ever.

There are tons of other healthy foods to eat to help your mental health like nuts, beans, carrots, and brussel sprouts.    I have so much more to say on this subject, but I’ve made myself hungry!

Disclaimer:  I’m not a mental health expert.  If you are severely depressed, a salmon salad isn’t going to help.  Please seek help, because we love you.  Email or message me if you need me.