6 Foods to Eat When You’re Feeling Blue

Adriana Velez | Apr 15, 2015 Food & Party
6 Foods to Eat When You’re Feeling Blue

depressed womanYou're feeling down in the dumps, a little blue, a little blah. What sounds like the best thing to eat? Probably ice cream or nothing at all ... but that could eventually make you feel worse. Here's what you really should be eating instead.

what to eat when you're depressed

Keep in mind, we're talking about every-day mild depression, not the kind of severe depression that requires medication and counseling.

We asked culinary nutritionist Stephanie Sacks, author of What the Fork Are You Eating and the blog, What the Fork Weeklyand Rebecca Katz, cookbook author and founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, for their advice. "If you are feeling down," says Sacks, "Rebecca and I think it wise to create a toolbox of Vitamin B and omega fatty acid-rich foods." Here are some of those depression-fighting foods they suggest.

What do you like eating when you're feeling down?


Image via Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock




  • Wild Salmon


    Image via Natalia Klenova/Shutterstock

    Why wild-caught salmon instead of farmed? Wild salmon is higher in those omega-3 and omega-6 fats Sacks and Katz talk about. They're also richer in a whole range of vitamins and minerals. This is because wild salmon eat what nature intended them to, while farmed salmon are fed corn and soy along with dyes to tint their flesh that pink color we expect to see in salmon.

  • Sardines


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    Say sardines and you're probably thinking stinky fish from a can. But sardines can be delicious. Look for fillets tinned in olive oil, and make crostini by placing them on toasted bread with parsley or dill and a squirt of lemon juice.

  • Pasture Raised Eggs


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    As with wild-caught salmon, eggs from pasture-raised chickens are higher in nutrition because they come from birds with an ideal, varied diet. They can be expensive, though. If they're going to bust your budget, conventional eggs are still a good choice.

  • Grass-Fed Beef


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    Beef is another food that gets a big nutritional boost when it comes from a pasture-raised animal. The more grass (as opposed to corn) the animals eat, the higher their meat is in omega 3 fats and another healthy fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Steak too expensive? A hamburger, meatloaf, or stew meat are other great choices.

  • Dark Leafy Greens


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    Dark greens like bok choy, kale, spinach, mustard greens, and arugula deliver loads of Vitamin B. If you're eating beef, sautee your greens in the drippings. Eating eggs? One of my favorite meals is a bowl full of greens topped with poached eggs and olive oil.

  • Dark Green Vegetables


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    Dark green veggies like broccoli and brussels sprouts can also be mood boosters. If you're new to brussels sprouts, grate or slice them raw and toss with olive oil and lots of parmesan for an easy slaw. Or slice them in half, toss in coconut oil, and roast until crisp on the outside, tender on the inside.

  • Cheesy Bok Choy Caesar Salad Recipe


    Image via Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock

    Recipe by Stephanie Sacks. Serves 4 to 6


    • 1 head bok choy, roughly chopped

    • 1 tablespoon red onion, small dice


    • 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    • 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

    • 1⁄2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

    1. Combine the bok choy and onion in a large bowl and toss.

    2. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan and mix until combined either by hand or with a blender. The dressing will still be a little chunky.

    3. Toss the dressing with the salad and garnish with the remaining 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan.

    (Sacks says if you can't find bok choy, substitute romaine lettuce.)

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