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Top 7 Foods to Help Fight Depression

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

foods for depression

Story at-a-glance -

  • Seven of the most nutrient-dense foods for fighting depression include oysters, mussels, seafood, grass fed organ meats, leafy greens, peppers and cruciferous vegetables
  • Thirty-four nutrients known to be essential for humans were analyzed to find those deemed most beneficial for fighting depression, narrowing it down to the 12 with the most potential for the Antidepressant Food Score (AFS) list
  • Among the foods on the AFS containing the highest amounts of antidepressant nutrients, three are animal-based and four are plant-based, but some have downsides to consider, such as pesticide residues and heavy metals
  • The entire list of antidepressant foods is headed by watercress with a score of 127 percent, while the highest animal-based food is oysters with 56 percent
  • Among people aged 15 through 44 years, mental conditions, including depression, are the leading cause of disability worldwide, so viewing food as a treatment option is considered “imperative” for people struggling with such issues

While there are hundreds of articles, dietary strategies, government agencies and food manufacturers designed to offer information on how to fight disease and optimize your health, you may be surprised to find that before the featured study, none concentrated on brain health or mental disorders as recently as 2007.

In September 2018, researchers reported the results of a study focused on finding the best foods to eat to help fight depression. Dr. Laura R. LaChance and a team from the University of Toronto, and Drew Ramsey from the department of psychiatry at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, tackled the initiative. According to the study:


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