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Depression cures food: SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Also visit the online treatment locator.

Frequently Asked Questions

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SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.


Suggested Resources

What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families
Created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. Answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different types of treatment, and recovery. Addresses concerns of children of parents with substance use/abuse problems.

It’s Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, “It’s not your fault!” and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative’s suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
Explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. Explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them, describes a typical session, and provides information on its effectiveness in recovery.

For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated

Last Updated: 06/09/2023

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

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Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. NSDUH estimates allow researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the general public to better understand and improve the nation’s behavioral health. These reports and detailed tables present estimates from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).



  • Among the 133.1 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2021, 60.0 million people (or 45.1%) were past month binge drinkers. The percentage of people who were past month binge drinkers was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (29.2% or 9.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (22.4% or 49.3 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (3.8% or 995,000 people). (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 15.1% (or 5.9 million people) were past month alcohol users. Estimates of binge alcohol use and heavy alcohol use in the past month among underage people were 8.3% (or 3.2 million people) and 1.6% (or 613,000 people), respectively. (2021 NSDUH)
  • In 2020, 50.0% of people aged 12 or older (or 138.5 million people) used alcohol in the past month (i.e., current alcohol users) (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among the 138.5 million people who were current alcohol users, 61.6 million people (or 44.4%) were classified as binge drinkers and 17.7 million people (28.8% of current binge drinkers and 12.8% of current alcohol users) were classified as heavy drinkers (2020 NSDUH)
  • The percentage of people who were past month binge alcohol users was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (31.4%) compared with 22.9% of adults aged 26 or older and 4.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of stroke, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cancer, and other serious health conditions
  • Excessive alcohol use can also lead to risk-taking behavior, including driving while impaired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver daily


  • STOP Underage Drinking interagency portal – Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Talk. They Hear You.
  • Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
  • Talking with your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol

Relevant links:

  • National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
  • Department of Transportation Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance
  • Alcohol Policy Information Systems Database (APIS)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



  • In 2020, 20.7% of people aged 12 or older (or 57. 3 million people) used nicotine products (i.e., used tobacco products or vaped nicotine) in the past month (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among past month users of nicotine products, nearly two thirds of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (63.1%) vaped nicotine but did not use tobacco products. In contrast, 88.9% of past month nicotine product users aged 26 or older used only tobacco products (2020 NSDUH)
  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, often leading to lung cancer, respiratory disorders, heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses. The CDC reports that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States
  • The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health reports that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking cigarettes

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use data:

  • In 2021, 13.2 million people aged 12 or older (or 4.7%) used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. The percentage of people who vaped nicotine was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (14.1% or 4.7 million people), followed by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (5.2% or 1.4 million people), then by adults aged 26 or older (3.2% or 7.1 million people).
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 11.0% (or 4.3 million people) used tobacco products or used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. Among people in this age group, 8.1% (or 3.1 million people) vaped nicotine, 5.4% (or 2.1 million people) used tobacco products, and 3.4% (or 1.3 million people) smoked cigarettes in the past month. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Among both middle and high school students, current use of e-cigarettes declined from 2019 to 2020, reversing previous trends and returning current e-cigarette use to levels similar to those observed in 2018
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, or pregnant women, especially because they contain nicotine and other chemicals


  • Tips for Teens: Tobacco
  • Tips for Teens: E-cigarettes
  • Implementing Tobacco Cessation Programs in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings
  • Synar Amendment Program


  • Truth Initiative
  • FDA Center for Tobacco Products
  • CDC Office on Smoking and Health
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarettes
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: E-Cigarettes



  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 3. 3% (or 9.2 million people) misused opioids (heroin or prescription pain relievers) in the past year. Among the 9.2 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 8.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers compared with 1.1 million people who used heroin. These numbers include 574,000 people who both misused prescription pain relievers and used heroin in the past year. (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.4% (or 9.5 million people) misused opioids in the past year. Among the 9.5 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 9.3 million people misused prescription pain relievers and 902,000 people used heroin (2020 NSDUH)
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Understanding the Epidemic, an average of 128 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose


  • Medications for Substance Use Disorders
  • Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
  • TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings
  • Opioid Use Disorder and Pregnancy
  • Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
  • The Facts about Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Addiction
  • Pregnancy Planning for Women Being Treated for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Tips for Teens: Opioids
  • Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants
  • Tribal Opioid Response Grants
  • Provider’s Clinical Support System – Medication Assisted Treatment Grant Program


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Opioids
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Heroin
  • HHS Prevent Opioid Abuse
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network
  • Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network



  • In 2021, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, with 18. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 52.5 million people) using it in the past year. The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (35.4% or 11.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (17.2% or 37.9 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (10.5% or 2.7 million people).
  • The percentage of people who used marijuana in the past year was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (34.5%) compared with 16.3% of adults aged 26 or older and 10.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • Marijuana can impair judgment and distort perception in the short term and can lead to memory impairment in the long term
  • Marijuana can have significant health effects on youth and pregnant women.


  • Know the Risks of Marijuana
  • Marijuana and Pregnancy
  • Tips for Teens: Marijuana

Relevant links:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Centers on Marijuana
  • CDC Marijuana and Public Health

Emerging Trends in Substance Misuse:

  • Methamphetamine—In 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • Cocaine—In 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • Kratom—In 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


  • Tips for Teens: Methamphetamine
  • Tips for Teens: Cocaine
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse

More SAMHSA publications on substance use prevention and treatment.

Last Updated

Last Updated: 06/20/2023

What Foods Treat Depression

Nine years ago, epidemiologist Felice Xhaka discovered that women who ate a lot of sugary, refined carbohydrates and fast food were more likely to suffer from depression. After a series of randomized tests, it became clear that the food we eat regularly affects the brain and psyche much more than previously thought – and regardless of gender, age and country of residence. Xhaka is now President of the International Society for Research in Nutritional Psychiatry. This discipline is one of the main trends in the treatment of mental disorders. Much is written about it, it is actively studied, widely practiced and even taught at the psychiatric department of Columbia University. Our friends at Reminder, a new media about health and self-development, talk about the practical application of food psychiatry.

What exactly is this brain steroid diet?

This can be clearly seen in the list of “food antidepressants” recommended by another leading expert, brain health clinic founder and eco-farmer Drew Rumsey.

Nutritional antidepressants. Plant foods: dandelion greens, spinach, kale, cilantro, mustard, basil, red cabbage, grapefruit, beet greens, lettuce, beetroot, Barbados cherry, turnip, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, papaya, bell pepper, parsley, broccoli, watercress, kohlrabi, cauliflower, nutmeg, chicory. Animal products: pollock, salmon, catfish, lobster, salmon, offal, crab, golden perch, oysters, clams, snails, tuna, mackerel, herring, rainbow trout, octopus, goat meat, liver, bird giblets, fish caviar, mussels, emu. (Source)

Drew Ramsey’s top food antidepressants include everything commonly referred to as the “Mediterranean diet”. The question is why beet greens or oysters can reduce the risk of depression by 33%? Because the “good” gut bacteria love them.

What does the intestines have to do with it?

Maybe the gut is not the “second brain” as it is sometimes called. But the bacteria living in it can definitely claim the title of a separate organ. There are 50 trillion of them, about 1.3 times more than all the cells in the body. 360 microbial genes for each of ours. Three kilograms of live weight. About 500 species united in a complex ecosystem – the microbiome. And as happens with any natural ecosystem, its disturbance affects the state of other systems with which it is connected. What is the intestine associated with?

We know that the 100 million neurons in the gut have a direct high speed connection to the brain. That the gut microbiota regulates immunity and metabolic processes. That it is involved in the production of vitamins, hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters. And that all this affects the brain. The gut microbiome is such a big topic that it’s worth writing and reading books about it. For example, this one or this one. In the meantime, let’s take out of context three facts that are important for food psychiatry.

1. The gut microbiota consists of several large groups of bacteria. Each group performs its own functions and is responsible for the production of specific enzymes.

2. The food we eat not only feeds us, but also the bacteria in the gut. Each group of bacteria has its own “food preferences”. Distortions in nutrition change their ratio, leaving some bacteria without food and overfeeding others, which causes their rapid growth.

3. Serious changes in the gut microbiome were found in those suffering from depression: an increase in the “inflammatory” microbiota and a decrease in the number of bacteria associated with the production of the “happiness hormone” – serotonin.

Microbiota-Inflammasome Hypothesis of Major Depression.

Who is to blame?

The accused is sugar. The victim is serotonin. This neurotransmitter is the main tragic hero of the monoamine theory. She attributes depressive and some other disorders to an imbalance in the chemical balance of the brain, which leads to serotonin hunger.

How to satisfy him? Sweet, anyone will tell you. The arrival of a piece of cake comes in about twenty minutes. Glucose through a number of intermediaries stimulates the production of serotonin. Serotonin suppresses the centers of negative emotions in the posterior hypothalamus. And life is rosy again. Why do sweet and fatty, which they love to seize stress, become a depressant?

The problem is tryptophan, from which serotonin is synthesized. This amino acid is not produced by the body. Tryptophan can only be obtained from food. Mostly protein – vegetable or animal. The idea is that the glucose in sweets causes an increase in insulin levels, which helps tryptophan get to the brain. But processed sugary and fatty foods are too poor in the enzymes necessary for the absorption of tryptophan. It inhibits bifidobacteria, which are involved in its conversion to serotonin. And at the same time it causes the growth of another microbiota, which decomposes even that minimum of tryptophan, which could become serotonin.

But that’s not all. In addition to glucose, sugar is broken down into fructose. And this is the favorite food of pathogenic bacteria, which include liposaccharides. These inflammatory molecules can increase the permeability of the intestinal wall. As a result, bacteria and endotoxins enter the bloodstream. In response, the immune system releases anti-inflammatory cytokines. They can enter the brain and stimulate the production of inflammatory molecules there that attack its neurons. Scientists are increasingly convinced that inflammation is one of the key factors in degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. It has been scientifically confirmed that depression also develops against the background of inflammatory processes and may be a brain reaction to cytokines. There are even suggestions that especially voracious gut bacteria can hack the brain and, like some parasites, manipulate our eating behavior to their advantage. Sounds like a script for a prequel to The Thing. But experiments on mice show that fatty and sugary foods cause changes in the mitochondria of hypothalamic cells, setting the brain to increase consumption of this type of food. There is another category of substances that change the microbiota to affect the brain. These are antidepressants.

What does antidepressants have to do with it?

Recent studies show that psychoactive drugs prescribed to treat depression and anxiety disorders inhibit certain bacteria involved in the production of serotonin. And what is completely unexpected, for them this is not a side effect, but a condition of efficiency.

Of course, modern antidepressants are not required to stimulate the production of serotonin. Their job is to prevent the neurons that release serotonin from reabsorbing it. Due to this, the number of serotonin molecules between nerve cells increases. And normal signaling in the brain systems responsible for mood is restored.

This is what it looks like in theory. But how effective are they in practice? Ratings range from “completely” or “partially” to “slightly more” or “slightly less” than placebo. Why such a spread? If they didn’t work at all, it would mean one of two things: either depression isn’t related to a serotonin imbalance (as some experts believe), or they don’t work. But they work. Just not always, not at all and not the same. They may suddenly stop. Almost guaranteed to stop after a while. And sooner or later they need to be replaced or combined with other drugs.

Antidepressant-induced changes in the gut microbiota may be the key to their notorious “capriciousness”. And at the same time, the answer to the question why, despite the growth in their consumption, the incidence of depression and other mental disorders does not even think of decreasing.

What to do?

Harmful and beneficial microbes are equally dependent on what we eat. Therefore, we can make sure that they stop parasitizing on our weaknesses and become an instrument of self-control. Thanks to research on the composition of the microbiota, we know how the ratio of bacteria changes in the most common mental disorders. Nutritional psychiatry offers three strategies using so-called psychobiotics – biological psychomodulators.

1. Cut off the diet of potentially harmful microbes and feed potentially beneficial microbes with the food they have evolved for themselves.

2. Try to add potentially beneficial bacteria to the gut.

3. Do both. Because it’s always better to be safe.

Let’s start with the second point. He’s more interesting.

One type of psychobiotic is potentially beneficial bacteria or probiotics. In theory, these living microorganisms should restore the correct balance of the microbiota, replenishing the ranks of the “good” bacteria in the intestine and displacing the “bad” ones from it. Studies using probiotics (specifically Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) have shown that probiotics can indeed improve psychological well-being. But to do this, they first need to get to the intestines. Probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, soft cheese, miso, or sauerkraut are thought to be a slower but more reliable (and definitely more appetizing) way to deliver them than supplements. 5 billion probiotic cultures and 15 strains of beneficial bacteria in one capsule look spectacular on the label. But after entering the acidic environment of the stomach, they can be reduced to single cells. At least in the case of bifidobacteria. Manufacturers, of course, are making every effort to solve this problem. Especially in advertising.

The second type of psychobiotics are prebiotics. Complex carbohydrates or simply dietary fiber, which are found in plant foods such as asparagus, bran or chicory. And they come in the form of supplements. It is food for probiotics and “good” bacteria. According to Human Food Project host Jeff Leach, the dose to achieve a bifidogenic effect is 4-8 g per day. Prebiotics are a tough nut to crack. They are not digested in the stomach, but reach the large intestine, where hungry bacteria attack them. In general, a good prebiotic acts selectively, but with far-reaching consequences. It will not stimulate the growth of any useless clostridia. For example, inulin (in chicory root or powder) feeds lactic acid bacteria, which inhibit the activity of pathogenic microbes and reduce intestinal permeability. And judging by the tests, it controls stress hormones and facilitates the psychological processing of emotions. It also helps in the absorption of micronutrients. By the way, what about them? This is a separate issue.

Do nutraceuticals help?

Dietary supplements or nutraceuticals are a whole trend in nutritional psychiatry. With mental disorders, the body receives less nutrients and vitamins. Take gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as an example. It is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps manage stress and regulate fear and anxiety. With the help of magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which allows you to examine the brain for the content of chemical elements in real time, it has been established that in children with ADHD, its level is greatly reduced. GABA is produced by specific gut bacteria using zinc and vitamin B6. Both enter the body with food. Dietary supplements can compensate for their deficiency.

What dietary supplements help with depression? Here is a list of the most effective, according to a meta-analysis of clinical trials:

  • S-adenosylmethionine;
  • levomefolic acid;
  • vitamin D;
  • creatine;
  • folinic acid;
  • combinations of amino acids.
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have proven themselves best. Not only do they improve emotional well-being, but they are also effective in treating unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. Moreover, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) performs better than docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

There are also curious examples. For example, acetylcysteine, from which ACC is made, is able to alleviate the symptoms of schiffophrenia. But in general, the results are still unstable. High performance omega-3s are rather an exception. And the exceptions only confirm … Well, you understand.

What is the reason? Perhaps in quantity and dosage.

Micronutrients in macro doses

12 pills three times a day. 13 vitamins, 17 minerals and four amino acids. See label for exact ingredients.

Clinical psychologist Professor Julia Rucklage from New Zealand compares her approach to food psychiatry to a shotgun blast. A good way to get into when you don’t know exactly what. There’s no point in fixing “one tiny glitch in biochemistry,” she says. Moreover, we still cannot determine it. But we know what biochemical processes are involved in the production of serotonin and what substances are needed for these processes. “Instead of relying on one of these substances, it makes more sense to provide them in combination to create a synergistic effect.” To monitor the absorption of nutrients, she uses markers such as the level of vitamin B12 in the blood.

In reality, Ruckledge doesn’t just fire cannons at sparrows. She reckons that “nutrients act at different levels.”

  • “Micronutrients can increase the efficiency of mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells.”
  • “They can also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, where dangerous molecules damage cells.”
  • “Or just provide the body with everything necessary for normal life.”

Her approach aims at several goals at once. And judging by the results, it falls into at least some. The effectiveness of therapy with macrodoses of dietary supplements is 64% for ADHD, up to 53% for symptoms of depression, up to 70% for anxiety, and up to 59% reduction in stress levels for PTSD. Not a bad result. Better than antidepressants, which, according to some reports, may even increase the risk of suicide. Although this is still a beta version, unlike some fluoxetine, which was prescribed by the millions back in the days when motorola was synonymous with a mobile phone.

True, there are questions about the Rucklage method. Most of all, her words about the complete absence of side effects cause doubts, which is hardly possible with such a massive intake of vitamins. In addition, properly selected “live” food, as studies show, is more effective than nutritional supplements. It is not for nothing that Ruckledge herself, in a lecture at TED that has gained more than a million views, recalls the story of scurvy: it was once considered an incurable infectious disease, until one doctor came up with the idea of ​​treating it with lemon.

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Antidepressant products.

Natural antidepressants in products, products for depression and anxiety

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people each year. While treatment for depression can be long and multifaceted, there are several steps you can take to improve your mood naturally, including eating antidepressant products.

Diet and nutrition play a critical role in managing well-being and increasing energy. The best foods for depression include foods that are easily available and those that you already have in your kitchen.

Antidepressant products

Leafy greens

Spinach and depression may seem like an odd combination, but leafy greens like spinach and iceberg lettuce have numerous benefits that support both physical and mental health.

Leafy greens contain folic acid, an important nutrient for healthy digestion and cardiovascular health. Most doctors recommend that pregnant women take folic acid throughout their pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects. In addition, greens fight toxins, nourish the intestines and produce enzymes.


Blueberry is a natural antidepressant product that tastes amazing. It turns out that these tiny berries are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that damage cells. They also normalize cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and even improve brain cognition.

Blueberries have the same effect as valproic acid, a drug that stabilizes mood and regulates emotions.

Blueberries contain an antioxidant associated with a reduced risk of depression. Finally, the berry contains vitamin C, which is useful in reducing the negative effects of stress.


Oysters contain many important substances and minerals that provide health benefits. They contain a large number of macro- and microelements: protein, a group of vitamins B12 and D, copper, manganese and selenium. They are also rich in antioxidants and omega-3s.

Another component is zinc, which makes the body stronger and can be a powerful weapon for proper development and growth. Thanks to him, oysters are a useful asset for emotional health.


Bananas are a tasty and convenient snack, as well as antidepressant fruits. This is because they contain serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that balances mood and daily activities. Most antidepressants and medications work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain.

In addition, bananas are rich in fiber and are a source of vitamin C and potassium, which improve nerve and muscle health.


Walnuts have higher antioxidant activity and contain significantly more omega-3s than any other nut.

In addition, walnuts reduce stress and depression. It also promotes a healthy gut, which improves immune status and enhances physical energy.


These potatoes contain many nutrients, including high levels of vitamin A, beta-carotene and fiber. They stop the growth of food-borne bacteria that harm the body.

Sweet potatoes are rich in magnesium, which reduces stress and anxiety. Studies show that magnesium deficiency leads to more frequent symptoms of depression and is associated with insomnia. Because sleep problems and depression and anxiety can be linked, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium in your daily diet.


Chicken and turkey are excellent sources of lean protein that stabilizes glycemic levels, keeping you in a good mood throughout the day. It is known that turkey and chicken breasts are not only sources of lean protein, but also contain a large amount of tryptophan. It produces serotonin, which supports healthy sleep and a balanced mood.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are full of selenium, which improves mood. This mineral also maintains a healthy antioxidant balance for overall health and well-being. Eat Brazil nuts in moderation; their selenium levels are so high that consuming too much leads to an excess of the recommended daily intake.


Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer and lowering blood pressure. Salmon contains an impressive amount of protein (22-25 grams per serving), making it a satisfying, low-fat meal.

This fish contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which protects the brain and nervous system. Astaxanthin also prevents the symptom of skin damage and promotes youthfulness.

Finally, salmon fights inflammation hard. Scientific research and treatments for depression continue to show higher rates between increased inflammation and increased risk of depression. This fact is due to the fact that inflammation causes many serious diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Any of these increase the risk of depression.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate helps with depression and improves well-being. A chocolate bar that contains 70-85% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber, 89% RDA for copper, 98% manganese, and 67% iron.

Dark chocolate also has an exceptional level of antioxidant activity. Some studies show that the cocoa content is even higher than that of fruits. Like other healthy foods, it improves brain function, protects the skin from the harmful effects of sunlight and reduces the risk of heart disease.


Flaxseed and chia seeds are a great addition to your diet when fighting depression. As with some of the other foods mentioned, these two types of seeds are particularly good sources of omega-3 fats. Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds provides 61% of the recommended daily allowance of omega-3s, while a tablespoon of flaxseed provides 39% Daily Value.

Pumpkin seeds are a great way to increase tryptophan levels. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps produce serotonin.


Beans and peas are excellent sources of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and protein.

People who eat legumes regularly are less likely to have strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases. They have lower rates of cancer, diabetes, and liver-related problems.

Beans are great for controlling appetite. This is because it is rich in fiber and healthy starches, which create a feeling of satiety and prevent food cravings.

Fermented foods

Several studies have shown that micro-organisms living in the gut, including probiotics, play a key role in regulating mood: producing feel-good neurotransmitters and influencing the stress response.

This may be why more people with irritable bowel syndrome develop depression and anxiety.

Products containing probiotics include:

  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha (kombucha)
  • Miso
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt and kefir


Carrots get their orange color from beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that people with high levels of antioxidant carotenoids are less likely to have symptoms of depression and depression. Carotenoids occur naturally as bright red, yellow, and orange pigments in fruits and vegetables. Pumpkin, melon, peaches, and sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene.


The chemical properties of mushrooms counteract insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels and improves mood. They are also similar to probiotics in that they promote healthy gut bacteria. And since the nerve cells in the gut produce between 80 and 90 percent of serotonin—the critical neurotransmitter that keeps us sane—we can’t afford to ignore gut health.


Tomato is an antidepressant anti-anxiety product. It contains a lot of folic acid and alpha lipoic acid, which are good at fighting depression and anxiety. Folic acid prevents the body from producing excess homocysteine, which limits the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Alpha lipoic converts glucose into energy and stabilizes mood.

Foods that can make depression worse

Knowing what not to eat is just as important when dealing with depression. Unfortunately, many of these foods are the ones people often turn to when they’re having a rough day. Of course, most things in moderation will not cause harm, but knowing the negative mental health effects of certain foods will help you make the right food choices.


Sugar affects not only the waist, but also the mood. We have a selection of sugar-filled foods all around us, such as cakes, cookies, sodas, and even condiments like barbecue sauce, salad dressings, and more.

There are many foods that are perceived as “healthy” but contain huge amounts of added sugar. Examples of complex foods like this are muesli bars, energy bars, store-bought yogurts, and packaged juices.

Maintaining an even glycemic level throughout the day will help your mood stay more balanced.

Refined food

The term “refined” refers to forms of sugars and starches that do not exist in nature. Foods like bread, chips, and breaded foods are full of refined carbohydrates that have little to no nutritional value and deprive important B vitamins during digestion.

Filling the diet with these refined carbohydrate foods will cause insulin levels to rise dramatically throughout the day, leading to symptoms of low mood and fatigue.


Alcohol is a depressant and worsens reactions. Many alcoholic drinks are quite sweet, which sabotages the mood and causes sugar spikes and drops.


Yes, caffeine can help you start your day well and energized. However, it can also lead to accidents at the end of the day, and the need for more energy to recuperate.

However, moderate amounts of caffeine, two to three cups a day, are associated with a lower risk of suicide.

An alternative to coffee and energy drinks is green tea. In addition to its antioxidant properties, green tea is known to contain theanine, an amino acid with anti-stress effects that is beneficial for people suffering from depression.

Of course, there is no specific food that can prevent or cure a depression or disorder like a medicine, but a healthy diet can help improve your mood.