Photo: Leigh Beisch
Though their findings are debated, several studies show that a lack of certain vitamins and minerals may put you at risk for depression. Try these 10 nutrient-rich meals that taste as good as they make you feel.
Salmon Salad With Vinaigrette
Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids may have therapeutic benefits in depressed children. And this savory salmon dish contains 6 grams of this monounsaturated fat.
Ingredients: Green beans, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, minced shallots, salmon fillets, mixed salad greens, Vidalia onion, eggs
Try this recipe: Salmon Salad With Vinaigrette
Photo: Yunhee Kim
Spanish Shrimp and Farfalle
Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal may increase levels of serotonin, one of the chemicals in our body responsible for elevating mood. This spicy dish will wow your taste buds and pack in some omega-3s too.
Ingredients: Farfalle, large shrimp, cumin, olive oil, onion, thyme, cinnamon, orange juice, sherry vinegar, tomatoes, pimiento-stuffed olives
Try this recipe: Spanish Shrimp and Farfalle
Flaxseed Falafel Sandwich
This wrap combines delicious Middle Eastern flavors, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fatty acids to create a delicious, bad mood–blasting meal.
Ingredients: Flaxseed, chickpeas, garlic, parsley, lemons, cumin, coriander, red pepper, breadcrumbs, eggs, olive oil, pitas, lettuce, fat-free yogurt, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño pepper
Try this recipe: Flaxseed Falafel Sandwich
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti
Though chocolate can ease a sweet tooth, research has shown it is more likely to prolong a bad mood than ease it. However, this dessert, which combines wholesome whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, and antioxidant-rich chocolate, is a healthy way to indulge.
Ingredients: Whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, baking soda, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, dark chocolate chips, unsalted almonds
Try this recipe: Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti
Photo: Leigh Beisch
Gingery Lentil Soup
This hot and spicy dish is full of protein, fiber, and nearly 25% of your daily folate needs. Folate is important for mood, because low levels of this vitamin have been associated with increased rates of depression.
Ingredients: Olive oil, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, curry powder, chicken broth, lentils, diced tomatoes
Try this recipe: Gingery Lentil Soup
Photo: Leigh Beisch
Grilled Scallops With Lemon Chickpea Salad
Tangy and fresh, you'll love this simple salad. And you'll get vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids, two important foods that may help regulate your mood.
Ingredients: Chickpeas, garlic, stalk, celery, flat-leaf parsley, lemons, olive oil, sea scallops, baby spinach
Try this recipe: Grilled Scallops With Lemon-Chickpea Salad
Photo: Karry Hosford
Triple Bean Salad
This bean salad contains selenium, a micro-mineral that protects against free-radical damage and lowers inflammation. A small study even found that high amounts of selenium helped patients with mild-to-moderate depression.
Ingredients: Green onions, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice
Try this recipe: Triple Bean Salad
Photo: Ben Fink
Asparagus With Poached Egg and Parmesan
Start the day off right with this savory, modified take on eggs Florentine. Eggs are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, which may better your mood.
Ingredients: Eggs, white vinegar, asparagus spears, olive oil, garlic, butter, lemon juice, parsley, Parmesan cheese
Try this recipe: Asparagus With Poached Egg and Parmesan
Photo: Levi Brown
Blackberry Banana Slim-Down Smoothie
This light and refreshing smoothie contains antioxidant-rich berries and banana, plus vitamin B12–rich yogurt. It's a sunny way to start your day.
Ingredients: Banana, light coconut milk, low-fat yogurt, lemons, honey, blackberries
Try this recipe: Blackberry Banana Slim-Down Smoothie
Photo: Tina Rupp
Yogurt and Spice Grilled Chicken Skewers
This light, protein-rich appetizer combines spicy chicken with tangy sauce. Protein-rich foods keep you alert and energized, which is especially important for those with depression.
Ingredients: Honey mustard, reduced-fat sour cream, low-fat yogurt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, chicken breasts
Try this recipe: Yogurt and Spice Grilled Chicken Skewers