Diet vs depression. 10 foods that can be useful with depression treatment

Of course, it is now recognized that our diet affects our physical and mental health. It is known that chronic depression is related to long-term deficiencies in some nutrients, which results in disorders in the functioning of the neurotransmitter system. One of the neurotransmitters is serotonin and its deficiency may contribute to an increased risk of depression. Modern diet rich in highly processed products rich in simple carbohydrates, saturated fatty acids, trans-fats, a diet low in vitamins and minerals may increase the risk of developing depression. In addition, the highest rates of mental health ilnesses are observed in medium and high developed countries, which can also be linked to high-processed diets. In addition, high Body mass Index (over 30) increases the risk of depression or the symptoms by 50-150%. Dietary treatment can be an effective aid in the treatment of depression

Wheat, milk allergy
From the reports of Alan Gettis from the School of Medicine and Surgeons of the University of Colombia that food can affect our mental health. Hypersensitivity to certain nutrients can cause the appearance or aggravation of such mental symptoms as depression or anxiety. Prof. Talal Nsouli, an allergy specialist from Georgetown University's medical department, has found that chronic fatigue can largely be attributed to food allergies, particularly to wheat and milk. 

Cholesterol deficiency: There is evidence that cholesterol deficiency can somehow promote the development of depressive conditions in the elderly. Dr. Elisabeth L. Barrett- Connor from the University of San Diego, California, studied a group of men over the age of 70. Those with low cholesterol have a significantly higher rate of depression (16%) than their peers with normal or higher levels (3%). Why can this happen? Dr. Barrett - Connor claims that low cholesterol can reduce serotonin levels in brain tissue, leading to symptoms of depression and aggression.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important in an illness such as depression. Their proper participation in the diet will ensure the proper formation of myelin sheath, regulated flow of neurotransmitters. Low intake of omega-3 acids that can be found in fish, seafood, rapeseed oil, flax seed, nuts or pumpkin seeds.

Vitamin D
With the advent of winter in the population living above 33 parallels, there is an increased incidence of depression. This may be related to insufficient vitamin D. It is known that this vitamin is 90% synthesized in the skin by sunlight. There is little food in it, therefore supplementation is recommended.

Dr. Melvin Konner from Emory University notes that new research into brain physiology supports the importance of caffeine as a mild antidepressant and sees no harm in its application if depression is light and doesn't require intensive treatment. Daily consumption of coffee should not exceed 400mg of caffeine equal to 4 cups of espresso. But remember that caffeine is also found in tea, energy drinks, coca cola, chocolate. It can be stated that low doses of caffeine can improve mood and well-being, too much can be harmful.

Folic acid
Folic acid deficiency can aggravate mental disorders such as depression, memory disorders. Dr Young of McGill University has conducted research on the effect of folic acid on mood and noted that most of its patients suffering from depression have deficiencies in this component. In addition, such people showed more drowsiness, memory problems and increased nervousness.

Ensuring proper supply of selenium in people with depression is extremely important. A study of 50 healthy men and women showed that selenium supplementation visibly improved their well-being, had more energy, were less fearful or tired. The study showed that the mood improved visibly with sufficient supply. In addition, the higher the deficiency of this component, the greater was the later improvement. Brazil nuts are an exceptionally good source of selenium. One already provides daily needs.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
In people with depression can also be observed decreased levels of vitamin B12. Together with folic acid deficiency, they are the causative agents of drug-induced depression. Inclusion of cobalamin in combination with folic acid in therapy may contribute to susceptibility to antidepressants. The recommended dose is at the beginning of 1000mg per day and after 2 weeks to 500g per day and after 200mg. The insufficient amount of this vitamin in the diet often also involves high levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is the cofactor cobalamin which allows for the conversion of homocysteine back to methionine.

Serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter that improves mood. Produced from tryptophan or an exogenous amino acid, which we take with food. In order for tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier, insulin is needed. What can be the symptoms of deficiency? For example, depression, aggression, headaches, anxiety, feeling cold, insomnia, and many others. The causes of serotonin deficiency are not enough sun, diabetes, iron deficiency, magnesium, folic acid, alcohol abuse, badly balanced vegan diet, consumption of sweeteners rich foods - aspartame.

Capsaicin contained in chillis can stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. When eating hot foods, we stimulate our nerve endings on the tongue, which causes our body to send a signal to the brain such as burns or trauma, and to relieve it exerts an endorphin-releasing pain..

Both the excessive supply of simple carbohydrates or too little affects our body. When the sugar falls rapidly, the brain does not get the right amount of fuel. Optimal levels of sugar are essential for the production of neurotransmitters including serotonin.

Dark chocolate
If sweets improve mood, then the safest is dark chocolate. Contains not only large amounts of magnesium but also iron, zinc, selenium and folic acid.

Maybe herbal medicine?
Applying herbal medicine along with proper diet can help with treatment. It is important to ask the pharmacist or doctor if the product does not react with prescribed medications and ask for dosage. Products that can help: Bacopa monnieri, St John's wort, saffron, ashwaghanda, adaptogens


  • Majkutewicz P., Tyszko P., Okręglicka K: Leczenie żywieniowe depresji, Family Medicine&Primary Care Review 2014;16, 1:48-50
  • Ross BM. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in major depressive disorder is caused by the interaction between diet and genetically determined abnormality in phospholipid metabolism. Med Hypothes 2007; 68: 515-524
  • Harbottle L, Schonfelder N. Nutrition and depression: a review of the evidence. J Ment Health 2008; 17(6):576-587
  • Penckofer S, Kouba J, Byrn M. Vitamin D and depression: where is the sunshine? Iss Ment Health Nurs 2010; 89:940-945
  • Pynnonen PA, Isometsa ET, Verkasalo MA, et al. Gluten – free diet may alleviate depressive and behavioural symptoms in adolescents with celiac disease: a prospective follow – up case – series srydy. BMP Psychiatry 2005; 5:14
  • Simon GE, Rohde P, Ludman EJ, et al. Association between change in depression and change in weight among women enrolled in weight loss treatment. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2010; 32: 583-589


Butternut squash, lentil and spinach soup - low calorie and boosting your immune system.

Butternut squash, lentil and spinach soup is a good option for those who want to loose weight. Rich in vitamins and minerals (especially B vitamins, folic acid, iron). In addition, it is a source of protein and dietary fiber. A large amount of seasoning makes the soup is tasty but also can boost our immune system!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
  • 500g butternut squash (after peeling)
  • 150g spinach
  • 150g red lentils
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Liter of broth
  • teaspoon of cumin 
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of ginger
  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Half a teaspoon of chillies
  • Half lime juice
  • salt pepper

In a large saucepan, heat a teaspoon of rapeseed oil and add chopped garlic, cumin, nutmeg, ginger, chillis, cinnamon and fry for a few minutes. Add diced pumpkin and lentil and broth and bring to a boil. Boil on low heat for about 30 minutes, until the pumpkin and lentil soften. Add the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes until the spinach "fades". Season with lime, salt and pepper.


3 ingredients kiwi ice cream - low calorie dessert, easiest thing to do

My post has never been so short. 

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 3 kiwi
  • 300ml of natural yoghurt
  • 3 teaspoons of honey

Blend all ingredients. Freeze. 


Pasta with prawns and sun-dried tomatoes - ultra quick healthy lunch

Sun dried tomatoes do not lose much nutritional value during the drying process. Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants, lycopene and vitamin C and the drying process will not negatively affect these properties. Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil with rosemary, garlic or other herbs are very easy to find. I have never tried to dry the tomatoes myself, it always seemed to me very time consuming. I might be wrong. Anyway, in my recipe I used tomatoes in olive oil.

  • 250g of pasta
  • 200g of dried tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • onion
  • Bunch of green parsley
  • 150g prawns
  • A teaspoon of rapeseed oil
  • Pepper, chilli


Fry the finely chopped onion and then chopped garlic using rapeseed oil. Add chopped dried tomatoes and prawns. Season it well with chilli and pepper. Cook the pasta. Strain and mix with fried prawns and chopped parsley.


Banana - walnut chia pudding - a rich source of fiber

Another recipe of chia pudding. I do not know how about you but I love these little grains. I always thought I had to cook them. What was my surprise when I found out you just need to mix them with milk. Just remember to add right amount of liquid. 

Ingredients for 2 servings:
  • 1/5 cup chia seed
  • 4/5 cup of milk
  • banana
  • Flat spoon of peanut butter
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric

A method of preparing:
Mash banana with a fork and mix with turmeric and peanut butter. Add seeds and pour the milk. Let stand for a while then mix again. Repeat it few times and put it to refrigerator overnight.


Chocolate millet flakes porridge, idea for breakfast.

Millet flakes can be used to cook delicious porridge. It works very well with food intolerances like celiac disease. Contains a lot of B vitamins and micronutrients, especially manganese. I encourage you to try a variety of groats and cereals to make a difference in your morning porridge and your diet.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 8 tablespoons of millet flakes
  • 500ml of milk
  • 20g of dark chocolate over 75% cocoa
  • 80g of prunes
  • Stevia or honey to taste
  • cinnamon


Cook millet flakes with milk and cinnamon together. Let stand for a few minutes then mix with honey, chocolate and chopped dried plums.


Nausea during pregnancy, how to deal with it? Recipe for a healthy snack.

Nausea and sickness during pregnancy affects up to 85% of women. How to deal with this? Are there any domestic non-invasive ways to reduce these ailments? There is a lot of research into the beneficial effects of ginger, which has reduced symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. How can we eat ginger? May be added to savoury foods or sweet snacks or tea. Below you can find a recipe containing ginger and other valuable ingredients, with no added sugar. 

Ingredients (about 5 servings)

  • Big carrot
  • Half a cup of dates
  • Half a cup of porridge oats
  • Half a glass of pecan nuts
  • A spoon of peanut butter
  • Spoon of coconut oil or butter
  • A teaspoon of ginger
  • A teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • Desiccated coconut to cover

Grate the carrot. Chop pecan nuts and dates. Mix everything (except dessicated coconut) with a mixer or blender. Then form small balls that are then cover them using dessicated coconut.


Coconut amaranth with kiwi fruit, alternative porridge

Amaranth can be a good alternative to traditional porridge and used as a cereal for breakfast. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains high quality nutritional proteins, thanks to excellent amino acid balance. The phytochemical composition of seeds are rich in antioxidant and can improve our health by reducing the risk associated with oxidative stress diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or obesity.

Ingredients per serving:

  • A glass of expanded amaranth (amaranth pops seeds)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 kiwi
  • A spoon of desiccated coconut
  • Stevia or honey to taste


Mix milk, amaranth pops seeds with coconut and one kiwi. Heat or eat cold. Mix with honey. Decorate with kiwi, almonds, coconut and chia seeds.


Oatmeal bars, healthy snack to work or school - instead of sandwiches or crisps

Oatmeal bars is like a porridge but dry, without milk. Rich in seeds, dried fruits and nuts, is a good option for a mid morning snack or a healthy snack.

Ingredients for about 16 bars:
  • 500g porridge oats
  • 50g linseed
  • 50g of sesame seeds
  • 100g of honey
  • 50g walnuts
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • one egg
  • cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Prepare the baking tray with baking paper. Transfer mixture to baking tray and press it. Bake in preheat oven - 180 ° C for about 25 minutes. Then cool and cut it into the bars.


Four cheese spicy tart with baby corn. Healthy, interesting idea for dinner.

Have you ever tried the baby corn cobs? I love them, especially spicy. Although I think you need to spiced it very well otherwise it will be quite plain. 

  • 100g of butter
  • 200g of wholemeal flour
  • one egg yolk
  • baby corn 150g
  • teaspoon of rapeseed oil
  • ricotta 50g
  • brie 50g
  • cheddar 50g
  • stilton 50g
  • 100ml of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper, chillies

Pastry: knead flour with butter and egg yolk. Roll the pastry and place it in baking dish (my was 20cm long). Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Then bake in the oven 20 minutes 180°C.
Fry baby corn in a pan with a teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Season with salt and chillies. Mix eggs with milk, salt and pepper. On prebaked tart but baby corn, four chesses and egg mixture. Bake in the oven - about 25 minutes at 180ºC


Tortilla wraps with spicy hummus and spinach - healthy and interesting lunch idea.

Tortilla wraps with spicy hummus and spinach - healthy and interesting lunch idea. This is an alternative to sandwiches, and if you spice it well it taste really nice.


  • 4 whole wheat tortillas (recipe here)
  • A handful of fresh spinach
  • 250g of chickpeas
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • onion
  • a teaspoon of rapeseed oil
  • 50g of mushrooms
  • turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, chillies, salt, pepper


Fry finely chopped onion on rapeseed oil until soften. Add the chopped garlic and fry for few minutes. Add chopped mushrooms and fry for about 5 minutes. Mix with spices and chickpeas. Blend it with mixer. Place the spinach on the tortillas and then the hummus. Serve it on lettuce.


Aubergine and tomato trottole. Can you eat aubergine skin?

It seems that the aubergine needs to be piled before eating, because the skin is hard and thick ... I strongly disagree!!! Leave the skin as it contains fibre and phenolic compounds. Remember this old principle? Most of the vitamins are under the skin. The only thing to consider is to eat it cooked because raw aubergine contains solanine. It is also worth to put some salt on it and put aside which will help to get rid of bitter taste.


  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 500g of canned tomatoes
  • onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • basil
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • chilli, ginger, salt, pepper
  • 150g of pasta (trottole)

Cut aubergine into cubes. Put it aside and leave for 15 minutes. In a pan fry the finely chopped onion. When caramelised, add chopped garlic and then aubergine. Cook for about 10 minutes and then add tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes more and at the end add chillies, ginger, basil, salt and pepper. Cook the pasta, drain and mix with the sauce. Serve sprinkled with fresh basil and linseed.


Scrambled eggs with avocado, breakfast for the toddler

Dear moms, this post is for you!!! How do you deal with picky eaters? Does the fancy composition of the ingredients have any meaning for the kids? Maybe you have some cool ideas for toddler meals? What do you think about this happy avocado scrambled egg?


  • slice of bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 50ml of milk
  • Half of avocado


Mix eggs with milk. You can either steam the eggs or microwave them. Just mix eggs and milk in a bowl and set the microwave for half a minute. Mix and put for another minute. Repeat until the eggs are cook. Put the scrambled egg on a slice of bread. Lay out an avocado to create a funny face.


Spinach, almonds and cranberry salad with sesame vinaigrette. How much iron does spinach really contain?

Is that true that spinach contains a lot of iron? Let's start with the fact that the absorption of iron depends on the chemical form. There is haem and non-haem iron. With the first one we can absorbed in 5-35% while with the second only 2-20%. In the daily ration, heme iron is about 10% while the rest is non-heme iron. Daily requirement for women is 16-19mg and 14-15mg for men. Spinach contains 2.8mg of iron per 100g. So to cover the minimum need for iron for women should consume 570g of spinach. In addition, we must take into account that 10% of this value will absorb up to 35% and the rest up to 20%. In conclusion, if we wanted to cover our daily intake for iron only with spinach (a little absurd situation) we would need to eat over 2.5kg which even Popeye wouldn't manage to do that. Therefore, it is worth to reach for other sources of iron such as offal, red meat or legumes.


  • 250g of fresh spinach
  • 100g of dried cranberries
  • 100g of almonds
  • 4 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • spoon of sesame
  • spoon of molasses
  • tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Mix molasses with apple cider vinegar and sesame oil. Mix vigorously to create a thick sauce. Then mix the sauce with spinach. Put the cranberries and almonds (roast it first) on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Delicious vegan curry, boosting your metabolism and immune system.

Great alternative to meat dishes. Rich in flavour, full of aroma and very healthy. Contains many spices and vegetables, used regularly, will boost the metabolism and immune system, improving skin colour, and  improving the body's immunity or speeds up digestion.


  • large butternut squash
  • 250g of canned chickpeas
  • onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 250g of canned tomatoes
  • 200ml of coconut milk
  • 150g of cocktail tomatoes
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 cm tumeric
  • teaspoon of ground cumin
  • table spoon of desiccated coconut
  • Chilli, salt, pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Peel butternut squash and cut into small cubes. Dissolve the coconut oil dissolve and mix together with the butternut squash. Put in the preheated oven (180ºC) and bake for about an hour until the butternut squash softens. In a saucepan on the remaining coconut oil, add a finely chopped onion. After few minutes add chopped garlic, ginger, chillies and turmeric. Fry for a moment. Add the half-cut cherry tomatoes, stir well and pour chopped tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and the rest of the spices. Boil another 10 minutes. In the end, mix with the butternut squash and chickpeas. Serve with rice or naan bread.


Courgette and prawns spaghetti, low in carbohydrates meal rich in omega 3.

How many times have you heard you eat not enough fish? Did you know that fish can be replaced with seafood for example prawns? They are a very good source of omega 3 and has a very low content of mercury.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 3 small courgettes (about 700g)
  • 150g of prawns
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • small onion
  • 2 tablespoons of cream creme fraiche
  • chilli, cumin, salt, pepper

Peel courgettes using special peeler to make spaghetti. You can also take an normal vegetable peeler and make thick strips a la tagliatelle. Put some salt and set aside for half an hour. Then fry the courgettes on a tablespoon of rapeseed oil for about 5 minutes until slightly softened. Don't do it to long because cougette will become to soft.
Fry finely diced onion and garlic on rapeseed oil. Add prawns and fry it for about 5 minutes. Put some cream and season with salt, pepper, chilli and cumin. Mix with courgettes.


Peanut butter and raspberry oatmeal, a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, niacin, and many others.

Peanut butter is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, Vitamin B3 and B5. Additionally, it contains a variety of minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and iron, and zinc. Particularly well suited for vegetarian and vegan diets because as I said earlier is a rich source of protein. This time I prepared peanut butter porridge layered with raspberries. Salty - sweet porridge with sour raspberries is a great start to the day.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • cup of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 200g of raspberries


Cook rolled oats and milk on low heat. Add banana and stir until the oatmeal is thick and banana fall apart. Mash raspberries with a fork. In a glass layered porridge then raspberries, porridge and raspberries. Bon Appetit!!!