Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

7 recipes that will help you treat depression naturally

7 recipes that will help you treat depression naturally

Depression is an endemic neurological condition affecting roughly 15 million people worldwide, according to the Depression and Bipolar support Alliance. While there are environmental and physical reasons for the onset of depression, there is not a consensus on what exactly triggers a depressive mind state. Thankfully, scientific research has been able to pinpoint that, in some cases, diet is able to improve depressive symptoms. So, what are the foods that will help you treat depression naturally?


The foods that will help you treat depression naturally need to be rich in vitamins and minerals that have the ability to regulate hormones related to mood, such as: serotonin and dopamine, which if altered, have been linked with the onset of depression.

A good example of how diet is able to help you treat depression naturally, is research demonstrating that Omega 3 fatty acids can control serotonin synthesis. The serotonin system interacts with the dopamine system, which is a hormone responsible for regulating brain reward and pleasure centers. Therefore, diet will certainly help you treat depression naturally.

The foods that will help you treat depression naturally must be rich in vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids, because all of these are compounds have been reported to be essential for optimal mind and bodily functioning.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E deficiency is associated with major depression. Some of the foods rich in vitamin E are: Spinach, Sweet Potato and Avocado.


A recent paper has discussed the case studies of depressed patients who recovered rapidly (less than 7 days) using 125–300 mg of magnesium (as glycinate and taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime. Some of the foods rich in magnesium are: lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, tofu, banana and kale.


Zinc deficiency is considered to play a crucial role in the onset and progression of mood disorders in different stages of life. Some of the foods rich in zinc are: beef, lamb, quinoa and pumpkin seeds.

Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 supplements have been reported to be effective in fighting depression in a dose - dependant manner in other studies. Some of the foods rich in omega 3 are: Winter squash, berries and mangoes.

So, here are 7 recipes with the aforementioned ingredients that will help you treat depression naturally

1) Sweet potato & spinach bake


300ml single cream (or double cream for a really creamy texture)
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 sprigs thyme or rosemary
250g bag frozen spinach
freshly grated nutmeg
butter for greasing
850g sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3mm thick)
25g grated hard cheese, such as cheddar, Parmesan or veggie alternative


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the cream, garlic and herb sprigs into a small saucepan and slowly bring to just below boiling. Turn off the heat, season and leave to infuse

Put the spinach into a colander, pour over a kettle of boiling water and leave to drain for a few mins. Then squeeze out as much water as possible. Season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.

Grease an ovenproof dish generously with butter and spread half the sweet potato slices across the bottom. Top with a layer of spinach, then the remaining potato. Pour over the cream mixture, through a sieve to remove the garlic and herbs, then sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 45-55 mins until golden and tender.

Meanwhile, if you’re serving the chops, heat a griddle or frying pan and finely chop the leaves from the herb sprig. Rub over the chops with the oil and some seasoning, then griddle or fry for 3-4 mins on each side or until cooked to your liking. Leave bake, and chops if serving, to rest for 5 mins, then serve with a big green salad.

2) avocado smoothie


1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
1 cup milk 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons honey 8 ice cubes


Combine the avocado, milk, yogurt, honey, and ice cubes in a blender; blend until smooth.

3)Asian Kale and Tofu Stir-Fry


Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

package (14 oz) firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, grated
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne pieces (1 1/2x1/4x1/4 inch)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 bunch (8 oz) fresh kale, large thick stems removed, leaves thinly cut across the stem (6 cups)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon gluten-free reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice


Press tofu between paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Set aside. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet or large wok over medium-high heat. Add peanut oil to pan; swirl to cover bottom. When oil is hot, add tofu. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until light golden brown. Remove tofu from skillet.

Working quickly, add garlic and gingerroot; stir. Add peas and carrot; stir. Add mushrooms. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mushrooms begin to brown. Add kale. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly until kale wilts. Add tofu, sesame oil, soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir to thoroughly coat. Serve over rice.

4) curried Chickpeas and Black Beans ( serves 4)


1 -2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (scallion work well too)
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 -3 teaspoons curry powder (for this recipe, I like a milder curry powder that has a bit of fennel seed)
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 1⁄3 cup parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and ginger and saute about 3 minutes, or until tender.
Add curry powder and stir to coat onions evenly.
Add tomatoes with their juices and cook 1-2 minutes or until mixture seems slightly thickened, stirring well.
Add black beans, chickpeas and salt to taste.
Stir to coat beans evenly.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until chickpeas are heated through.
Turn off heat, and stir in fresh cilantro (or parsley), and lemon juice.
Serve warm.
This dish goes nicely over some jasmine or basmati rice.

5) Lentil Dal


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper, crushed
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 1⁄2 cups water
1 cup dried lentils
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
6 cups cooked basmati rice or 6 cups long grain rice, cooked


Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion, ginger, cumin, turmeric, red peppers, and garlic.
Saute 2 minutes.
Add cauliflower and tomatoes; saute 1 minute.
Stir in water and lentils; bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt.
Serve 1 cup lentil mixture with 1 cup rice.

6) banana, berries and mangoes smoothie


1 very ripe peeled banana (preferably frozen)
2 Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup frozen mango chunks
¾ cup coconut water
½ cup frozen blackberries or blueberries
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds


Purée banana, dates, mango, coconut water, blackberries, yogurt, and flaxseeds in a blender until smooth.

7)Curried Lamb and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves: 8


2 medium acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
2 cups cooked quinoa


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut the squashes in half, lengthwise, and scoop the seeds from the center. Rub each half with the olive oil; place cut side down on a shallow, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.

While the squash is in the oven, cook the lamb in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks with a large wooden spoon. Once it has barely begun to brown, add the onion and continue cooking until most of the fat has rendered from the meat and the onion has softened. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and salt and pepper and cook until the meat is cooked through and the mixture is fragrant.

Remove the meat mixture from the heat and stir in the pistachios, raisins and quinoa, mixing well. Set aside.

When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Turn it over so that the cut sides are facing up and spoon the lamb/quinoa mixture into the centers, packing it in as necessary, until all of the filling has all been used.
Reduce the heat to 350 F and return the stuffed squash halves to the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Other natural ways that have been reported to ease the symptoms of depression are: laughter therapy, the use of herbs and acupuncture.