Is Your Diet Making You Depressed?


Getting proper nutrition is essential for healthy brain function and a better body. For example, studies have shown that your body works better if you eat nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Also, it is essential to your lifestyle to steer away from toxic foods. Did you know that fast foods can change the chemistry and function of your brain?

Depression and Your Serotonin Levels

If you have been feeling depressed, you need to have a check-up on your diet. Food has influence over six major neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin being one of them. Low serotonin levels are often a common cause of depression and anxiety. Often the diets of those with low serotonin levels crave carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta, bread, and sugar-filled chocolate. Carbohydrates raise serotonin levels and temporarily increase feelings of well-being.

Changing Your Brain With Your Diet

In a recent study, BMC Journal found that diets higher in plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, including fish, are associated with a reduced risk for depression. Those whose diets included more processed foods and sugary products were associated with an increased risk of depression. This study shows that our brains care about what we are putting into our bodies and that we can change our brain chemistry through what we eat.

Add these twelve smart carbohydrates to your diet to boost serotonin and lower your levels of depression:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Hummus
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Bananas
  • Figs
  • Pineapples
  • Oranges or tangerines
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Pears
  • Mangoes

Exercise and smart carbs like these just listed can make a big difference in your mood, mind, and body. They can also help you treat depression without dependence on medication.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of depression, Amen Clinics can help. We will help you learn more about your brain and assist with early diagnosis and intervention. Call us today at (888) 288-9834 or visit our website to schedule a visit.


  1. Excellent article! Thank you for bringing light to this. My daughters nor my former husband believe me when I speak to them on this, so I’ve shared this article with them! 🙂

    Comment by Sofia — March 2, 2017 @ 6:14 PM

  2. Hello….
    My Son-in-law Sean Novak lives in Gilbert Az., needs help with weight and depression.
    Do you have Doctors or clinic in the area?

    Comment by sue lathe — February 23, 2018 @ 2:00 PM

  3. Hello Sue, currently we don’t have a location in AZ but we do have CA Clinics. Our locations are listed here – Feel free to call us for any questions you may have. 888-288-9834. Thank you for reaching out.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 23, 2018 @ 2:29 PM

  4. Hiw do you correct for adrenal fatigue?
    Can you do it with diet?
    If so, what items should you add and which ones should you avoid?
    Thank you

    Comment by Rebecca Reid — February 24, 2018 @ 8:48 AM

  5. In the treatment of Brain 2 type (in the Coach Certification Course, lesson 3), Dr. Amen stated ketogenic diet would not be good for compulsive overeater as it suppressed serotonin. In the video Dr. Amen said eating a “smart carb diet” would be more beneficial, but didn’t clarify what would be smart carb. I Googled this phrase and found this page. Would adding these 12 food items with the lower carb, higher protein diet be the “smart carb diet” Dr. Amen was referring to or is there another link you would suggest for more information on a “smart carb diet?”

    Comment by Divina Maruca — November 29, 2018 @ 7:56 AM

  6. I was inspired to cut out dairy soy corn gluten and sugar for 3 weeks after listening to the podcast episode with Zoe Davis.

    I feel better. Something tells me my issue is with soy and corn.

    I’m wondering how I reintroduce foods? The podcast doesn’t talk about that part.

    Comment by Jade Dadiz — December 15, 2018 @ 11:11 PM

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