Crushing depression and anxiety with food: The ultimate list | KarloLabs Crushing depression and anxiety with food: The ultimate list – KarloLabs

Crushing depression and anxiety with food: The ultimate list

Let me start out with something very important: changing your diet most likely won’t cure your anxiety or depression, but it is about 25% of the way there. In order to cure anxiety and depression you have to work with both your physical body and your mind.

I’ve written about both, you can take look at my guide to overcome anxiety  and rare mental exercises to relieve depression.

The food that we put into our body is closely related on how we are going to feel. There are scientific studies that prove that some foods will help you to recover from depression. To put it simply – if you eat the right foods, you have a higher chance of recovery from depression and reduction of anxiety and lower chance of relapse.

Some foods even increase the effectiveness of anti-depressants if you are eating them often enough. Let’s get started.



This veggie is a great addition to those who suffer from anxiety. Asparagus have high concentration of folate that is known to reduce anxiety. A single cup contains as much as two-thirds of your daily needs. You can almost add it to every meal it is pretty universal.


Almonds are high in vitamins B2, E and are packed with magnesium. Magnesium helps your brain create more serotonin what is basically the thing that makes you happy. Usually the first thing that medics prescribe to those that feel depressed is magnesium. Magnesium deficit often is one of main causes of light depression.


Don’t overlook this one. Spinach is a superfood when it comes to fighting depression. Spinach is packed with all the nutrients that you brain needs – folic acid, magnesium, zinc you name it. They all help your brain to function better!


This universal vegetable is one of the main sources of omega – 3, especially if you are on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Another thing that is absolutely packed it avocados is potassium, and potassium if closely linked to relieve symptoms of depression.

Dark chocolate

And by dark I mean super black, like the heart of your ex… or no, I’m terrible at jokes. Dark chocolate gives you the boost of serotonin and dopamine both are “happy-mood” enhancing chemicals in your brain.


You will probably not find a more B type vitamin packed fruit than a banana. B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 you name it, it has them all. B type of vitamins are closely related to reducing depression and anxiety. If you’re suffering from insomnia try eating a banana or two before you go to bed, it might help you sleep better.


If you don’t already want to, then you need to pack your body full with antioxidants. Blueberries are packed with them and I mean really packed! One of the biggest benefits from them is increased cognitive performance that might give you that necessary boost when depression is holding you down.

Sweet potato

Another vegetable that is full with B6 vitamin. Again lack of B6 vitamin in your body can cause symptoms of depression.


Great source to increase your levels of folate. If you are not a fan of asparagus then this might be the way to go.

Green Tea

Green tea contains a lot of theanine. An amino acid that is super beneficial in dealing with mental problems. It increases dopamine and there have been studies that frequent consumption of green tea reduces depression symptoms.


If you want to reduce both anxiety and depression then cashews are the way to go. They are high in zinc and just one ounce of them will fulfill your daily zinc needs.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds help you to keep up a good immune system and greatly increase  the production and function of your neurotransmitters. In other words they’re really good for your brain! Eat them.

Dried fruit

Again, magnesium, most of us don’t have it enough and dried fruit are full with it. If you often get anxious go buy a pack of dried fruit to snack on every day, that will help. Hey, even 10% less anxiety is better than nothing.

Portobello mushrooms

They contain a lot of vitamin D. It is one of the most important vitamins for you to feel happy, there is even a thing called “light therapy” where you stand in front of a special light, that will increase the vitamin D production levels in your body for those that don’t or can’t go out much.

Dried seaweed

It is a resource full of iodine. Iodine helps your brain to function better, increases memory functions and regulates your body temperature. Again a small boost for your brain, but combine them all together and you have a powerful resource against depression.


Tomatoes are high in alpha-lipoic acid and folic acid, they both are great for fighting depression. Lack of folic acid is connected with problems of serotonin and dopamine production in your body.


Another great source of Omega – 3 and there are tons of studies that have proved a link between omega – 3 and brain functions as well as reduction in depression symptoms.


Another great source of anti-oxidants. As the old saying goes an apple a day keeps the doctor away and there is scientific evidence for it.

There are also foods that you should avoid at all costs when it comes to anxiety and depression

Coffee and anything with caffeine

There is a study that shows that those who drink coffee show higher symptoms of depression.  And for those who suffer from anxiety coffee should absolutely avoided at all costs, it will only worsen your situation.


Basically everything that contains sugars is bad for you. A study was published on Diabetologia and it shows that when your glucose levels are increased, proportionally the protein levels that increases the growth of neurons drops. Basically your brain stops functioning correctly.


If you are depressed or anxious for some the logical answer might be alcohol. The problem is that in short term it might feel like it relieves you from your problems, studies show that in long term it only worsens your condition. Even just a casual drink every night does that.

Processed foods

There is a study where they took a group of people and split them in half. One group were fed with healthy foods like mentioned above, the other ones were fed with processed foods. The results – the latter group showed signs of depression.

Apple Juice

What? Apples are okay but apple juice no? YES! You see when you eat an apple it is packed with slow digesting fiber, that doesn’t let your blood sugar levels go out of control, but when you drink the juice it lacks those fibers and the increase of sugar launches your adrenaline levels which causes more anxiety.


Again it is about blood sugar levels. Pasta contains a lot of refined carbs that increase the blood sugar levels and just above you already read what that does to your body.


Ketchup and other salad dressings quite often contain high-fructose corn syrup which as well causes high blood sugar levels. (If at this point it seems like everything causes high blood sugar levels than you’re not far from the truth) that corn syrup also increases your cravings.

Red vine

I wasn’t sure if I should include this since I already spoke about alcohol, but I just had to make sure. Red vine is also alcohol, so the same effects apply. People that have anxiety are up to 500% more likely to develop an alcohol addiction. I’m pretty sure you would like to avoid that.
Share this list with your friends. It will be helpful to everyone!

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