A particular diet has not been proven to treat depression or relieve symptoms, but certain foods can help put patients in a better mood, explains WebMD. It is recommended that people with depression stock up on essential antioxidants such as foods with vitamins C and E and beta-carotene and adopt a diet high in nutrients such as carbohydrates, small amounts of fat, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Protein-rich foods such as yogurt, milk, fish, low-fat cheese and poultry are recommended for people with depression to increase the amount of serotonin the brain produces to help regulate moods, according to WebMD. Tuna, turkey, soy products, and beans and peas are also sources of protein.
Foods with beta-carotene include spinach, pumpkin, carrots, cantaloupe and broccoli, according to WebMD. Apricots, peaches, collards and sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene. Sources of vitamin E include nuts and seeds, wheat germ, vegetable oils and margarine. People struggling with depression can add vitamin C to their diets by eating strawberries, tomatoes, oranges, kiwi and grapefruit. Blueberries, broccoli, peppers and potatoes also contain vitamin C.
Small amounts of carbohydrates can help enhance serotonin and moods, according to WebMD. Patients should stock up on whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits, and avoid sugary foods and simple carbs such as cookies and cakes.