10 Foods That Can Contribute to Depression

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 @ 7:21 PM

When speaking with clients, we also speak and discuss diet as part of their healing journey. Part of self-care is paying attention to our diet and implementing balance within our meals. A 2017 study found that the symptoms of people with moderate to severe depression improved when they changed their diet. The new diet consisted of fresh and whole foods that were high in nutrients. It also consisted of eating less processed foods, sugary, and fried foods While changing diet does not alleviate depression completely, positive results can be seen when it is combined with therapy.

What Should I Avoid?

1.Fruit Juice

The fiber from eating whole fruits can fill you up and slow down how you take in energy. However, without fiber, you’re drinking nutritious sugar and water. It will give you a moment of energy and a quick crash.

2. White bread

The processed flour from white bread can quickly turn to sugar.

3. Prepackaged dressing

Most prepackaged dressings are loaded with sugar. When looking at the ingredients at the grocery store, it is often listed as “high -fructose corn syrup.” Dressings that are listed as “light” or “sugar-free” may be sweetened by aspartame. This is an artificial sweetener which has a negative link to anxiety or depression.

4. Fast food

Studies show that there is a link between fast food, depression, and levels of inflammation within the body. Those who select the higher fat choices have a 40% higher risk of developing depression.

5. Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol encourages a release of serotonin within the body. However, for those who are depressed, it can have a negative effect on the body. The affect of alcohol can stimulate different pathways in the brain which could alter mood. In addition, if you are taking antidepression medication, the combination of alcohol could make the medication less effective.


High salt consumption can increase inflammation within the body. It can also affect how food is digested within the gut and the travel of blood flow in the brain. These factors can be contributors to depression and impair cognitive function.

7. Refined sugar

Studies show a potential association between sugar consumption and depression. Sugar increases inflammation and encourages hormone imbalance. Inflammation and hormone imbalance are linked to mood. Sugar can also have a potential impact on the growth and development of brain cells and proteins. This can have an influence on neurotransmitters within the brain.

8.Artificial sweeteners

Many artificial sweeteners have an ingredient of aspartame. This ingredient, when there is high consumption, can affect depression and irritable mood. Research suggests that aspartame impacts the balance of chemicals within the brain (such as serotonin and dopamine) and increases levels to cortisol, the “stress hormone.”

9.Energy drinks

Many energy drinks have a combination of caffeine and sugar, which can affect depression and anxiety.

10.Processed meat

Studies show a significant tie to the consumption of processed meat and depressive symptoms. This is due to trans and saturated fat content which encourages higher inflammation within the body. Inflammation is a tie to depressive mood.

What Foods Are Healthy?

Increasing fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, lean proteins, some seafood, organ meats such as liver, and yogurt are foods that can be added to the diet and offset the symptoms of depression and anxiety. When adding an improved diet consistently to your everyday life, you can see a decrease in depressive symptoms.

You Can Get Help Today

Having a balanced diet can assist in depression treatment. To learn more, call 443-860-6870 or make an appointment today.