7 Foods to Help Fight Depression

There’s no magic cure to stop depression. It takes a lot of work. Having a solid treatment plan is the best way to combat it. But there are other things you can do on your own to help your mood and keep depression at bay… that includes what you eat. We all know we should be eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while cutting down on processed food. But sometimes that feels like an unrealistic goal. Instead, just try to incorporate a few of these 7 foods that will improve your mood and fight depression.

1. Carbohydrates and Whole Grains

pablo.pngWhen looking for foods to help fight depression definitely consider whole grains. These high-fiber “smart carbs” are great for a quick mood boost. Complex carbohydrates release seratonin, making you feel happier. Try to avoid simple carbs and sugary foods. Instead turn to whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat pasta. They can really help with stress.

2. Low-Fat Dairypablo(1)

Dairy is great for your body for a variety of reasons, but low-fat dairy is the richest source of two important nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. In addition, dairy has specific proteins called peptides that help relax you and give you a sense well-being. Try skim milk, yogurt and low-fat cheeses.

3. Turkey

vegetables-glass-meal.jpgYou may associate tryptophan with feeling tired after eating a Thanksgiving meal, but it turns out the chemical in turkey also has big health benefits. Tryptophan stimulates seratonin production, giving you a natural happy feeling. Keep in mind most lean proteins are good for fighting depression, but turkey is the best option thanks to tryptophan. You might just want to take a nap after eating it!

4. Fatty Fish Like Salmon and Tuna
salmon-seafood-fish-restaurant-cuisine-gourmetIf you guessed omega-3 fatty acids for the reason why salmon and tuna are on the list, than you’re right. The fatty acids found in the fish have brain-boosting properties to help fight depression, according to research published in January 2014 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Fatty fish is also good for overall health, they improve circulation and reduce inflammation in the body. It’s not just salmon and tuna that have these properties. Also try mackerel or bluefish! A serving a few times a week could do great things for your mental health!
5. Green Tea
green-tea-press-flowers-kitchen-drink-beverage.jpgGreen tea is a great source of antioxidants, but it’s also a great beverage for fighting depression. The amino acid known as theanine is naturally found in tea leaves and provides a natural anti-stress benefit. So if you’re a coffee drinker (like I am) try switching to cup of green tea every once in awhile to absorb some of its relaxing benefits.
6. Walnutswalnuts-nuts-peeled-baking
If you’re not a fish fan, or want another way to get those omega-3s, try walnuts. While most nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats, walnuts are the best for fighting depression because they are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Dark Chocolate
close-up-of-dark-chocolate-pieces-and-cocoaCan’t forget about desert! While most people would say they feel happier after eating chocolate, it turns out that chemically that might actually be true. Dark chocolate helps release seratonin and relaxes the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system. So in addition to tasting amazing, also know it really can make you feel better! It’s a good excuse for the next time you indulge.
There are a lot of great foods to help improve your mood or fight depression, but if you’re really struggling, just don’t leave it up to your diet. Talk to your doctor and counselor about the best treatment plan for your condition, but that does generally include making sure you’re taking care of your body. So try these foods they could make a big difference!

Two Pumpkin Muffin Recipes

I am one of those people who are apumpkin muffins little obsessed with pumpkin during fall… (yes, I’ve already had a pumpkin spice latte this year) so expect a few pumpkin recipes. I love baked goods with pumpkin, but if you’ve ever tried to grab a pumpkin scone from Starbucks… you know it is insanely high in calories. So I made two pumpkin muffin recipes. They have the same base recipe but each have their own twist.


chocolate chip pumpkin muffin closeFor chocolate lovers I made Low-Calorie Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins.

They’re only 110 calories per muffin (granted they are on the smaller side) and satisfy a great chocolate craving.


almond pumpkin muffin closeThe second is Low-Calorie Honey Almond Pumpkin Muffins.

These are only 85 calories each, and i love the drizzle of honey on the top.


Really I recommend make your own twist too! Use the basic recipe for the pumpkin muffin, and mix in whatever you’d like!


Low-Calorie Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

chocolate chip pumpkin muffin closeIf you’re a fan of chocolate and pumpkin these muffins are extremely satisfying. And only 110 calories a piece! If you remove the chocolate chips and decide to do a plain pumpkin muffin, it’s only 65 calories per muffin.

*Also check out my recipe for Low-Calorie Honey Almond Pumpkin Muffins

Calories: 110 per muffin (makes about 12 muffins *note this muffins are a little small, if you want larger muffins fill up only 9 of the 12 spaces in the muffin tin)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 4 tbsps brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

chocolate chip pumpkin muffin farIn one bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and apple sauce. blend together. In a separate bowl add the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and whole wheat flour. Add the wet and dry ingredients together. DO NOT OVER MIX. Over mixing will make these too dense. Fold in the chocolate chips. Evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tray. (you don’t have to, but I used cupcake wrappers. If you don’t, just make sure you grease the pan.) Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until you can poke a toothpick into the muffin, and have it come out clean.

Enjoy the guilt-free muffins!

“Peanut Butter Cup” Protein Shake

IMG_1632Okay…Okay…. it’s not exactly a peanut butter cup. It’s technically a chocolate peanut butter smoothie. But it’s essentially the same thing… and it made you click on the recipe right? Plus it’s delicious so it doesn’t matter. You can really use any protein powder (plain, vanilla, chocolate… really anything except berry), but I suggest using chocolate so you can get a better flavor. I use Vega brand protein smoothie but use what works for you!!

Calories: 225 (might make more than one glass… depending on amount of water)

What you’ll need:

1 Scoop Vega Choc-a-lot Protein Smoothie (Or your favorite brand of protein powder)

4 tbsps Peanut Butter Slim (Or any brand powdered peanut butter)

8 oz unsweetened chocolate almond milk

Water (as needed)

*1 Cup Ice

Add the protein powder, peanut butter and chocolate almond milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. If the texture seems gritty, add a little water to thin it out. *Slowly add ice and blend until thick. You may need a little less/more ice. Blend to your desired thickness.

*If you’d prefer a shake to a smoothie, just skip the ice and enjoy!

Also check out my Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake Recipe!