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Foods That Help Depression

This is one of the most popular articles in my Self Improvement series. Scroll to the bottom for an Anti-Depression Snack Mix recipe that combines multiple foods that help depression into a healthy, easy to keep on hand treat.

Foods That Help Depression

Longtime readers of this blog (hello, bloggy friends!) know I've struggled with depression on and off since I was a teenager. Funny enough, people who know me in real life usually have no idea. Ah, the things we share online.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to improve my diet. Sayonara, sugar! Bye bye, Burger King! The intention behind this goal was to lose weight, and I have, but there was also an unexpected benefit. Did you know there is a link between food and depression

Healthy Food = Healthy Mood (surprise, surprise).

Foods That Help Depression
Food and Depression

Since reducing (not eliminating - I'm only human) the junk food in my life, I've had more energy and have not had even one day where I've felt the slightest bit depressed - unheard of for me. Studies show that certain foods can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. 

While reading articles on the best foods to improve your mood, I even came across a story about a woman who was able to successfully go off her depression medication by changing her diet. Prozac on a plate! (Of course, always check with your doctor to make sure you're doing what's best for you, especially with something as serious as depression.)

I don't expect this delicious lifestyle change to solve all my problems. If eating well can help improve my mental health even a little bit though, why not give it a try? So far it seems to be working.

Foods That Fight Depression - Free Shopping List and Wallpapers

(No, not like the wallpaper mural we installed in our hallway. Or the completely ridiculous wallpaper murals we used in our guest bathroom, although that does make me smile.)

The foods recommended for an anti-depression diet are well-researched and are things you want to eat anyway - bananas, eggs, sunflower seeds. Yum!

(Not together. That would be weird.)

At the end of this post, there's a beloved snack recipe using all of the ingredients with an *.

  • EGGS*
  • TOFU(Just blend it into a soup or creamy dip if you dislike tofu)
  • Ground FLAX SEED*
  • APPLES(An apple a day...)
  • Almonds*
  • BEANS 
  • WATER (Yes, water. Studies show that even mild dehydration can affect your mood.)
  • KIWI
  • VEGEMITE (I'm Australian.)
  • POTATOES (this does not mean french fries, you sneaky pete)
  • OATS*
  • BEETS (I can't eat beets without thinking of Dwight Schrute. Am I the only one?)

For my own use, I created a desktop wallpaper that lists all of these healthy food options at a glance. Every day, I try to eat the largest variety of these as possible. My morning starts with a nutritious Vitamix green smoothie with Almased or Enersed diet drink powder. That alone can check off a quarter of the list.

Having this list of healthy food choices on my computer is a great reminder of the best options when I'm hungry for a snack or trying to decide what to make for dinner. The list worked so well for me that I also created a wallpaper for my phone and tablet - the perfect grocery list!

Free Anti-Depression Wallpaper for Desktop

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Although I don't think there should be any stigma surrounding mental healthcare, it occurred to me as I created these free wallpapers that not everyone is okay with their boss or children seeing "Foods That May Reduce Depression" plastered across their screen, hence the more discreet versions below. As far as anyone can tell, it's just a list of healthy eating choices.

anti-depression foods list for desktop

Free Anti-Depression Wallpaper for Android

anti-depression foods list for android

Free Anti-Depression Wallpaper for iPhone

anti-depression foods list for iphone

list of foods that reduce depression for iphone

Anti-Depression Snack Mix

(This is great for travel and is also wonderful mixed into a green salad for extra flavor and crunch.) 

Use as many of the ingredients with an * from above as you have on hand, with the minimum requirements being at least one kind of nuts and one egg white per 2 cups of nuts. You can adjust the quantity of each ingredient to taste, but nuts should always be the main ingredient.

1. Separate the egg(s) and whisk the whites with salt, pepper, and turmeric. (Alternative flavor, which is also surprisingly good with salad: whisk with salt, pepper, a generous amount of cinnamon, and a little sugar or honey)(Dried cranberries are also delicious added to both variations.)

2. Place the remaining ingredients in a Crock Pot, sized for the amount of nuts you're using. (I make this recipe often in a 6 quart pot with 8 cups of mixed nuts.)

3. Add the egg mixture to the Crock Pot and mix well. 

4. Cook on Low with the lid on for approximately 5 hours (more or less, depending on the size of Crock Pot and quantity of nuts). After the first hour, stir every 30 minutes so the nuts do not burn.

Store the cooled nuts in the pantry. If you live in a dry climate (I'm living in the New Mexico desert), leaving them uncovered with keep them especially crisp.

*Got carried away with your add-ins (ground flax seed, oats, cinnamon, etc.) and now you can't get everything to stick to the nuts? No problem! When this happens to me (I'm forever getting carried away), I simply add a teensie bit of water to make everything stick together and leave the lid off the Crock Pot for the final 30 minutes so everything gets nice and dry and crunchy.

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