“Eat a wide array of vegetables, with lots of leafy greens and high-fiber root vegetables,” Jacka says. The same research analysis that linked higher fruit intake with reduced depression risk suggested that eating more vegetables correlates with the same outcome. When you’re feeling blue, a carrot might be the last thing on your mind, but the variety of vitamins and minerals in vegetables, as well as their fiber content, may help protect you against low mood and depression. You’ll want 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily, the USDA says.
“The new and rapidly emerging field of research into gut health suggests that diet is essential in maintaining healthy intestinal microbiota, which appears to influence behavior as well as health,” Jacka says. Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, and certain yogurts are good sources of healthy bacteria called probiotics.