A DIET TO HELP STAY HAPPY – Excerpt WSJ by Elizabeth Bernstein


What should you eat to beat depression?

Experts say it’s important to eat a balanced, Mediterranean-style diet. But some nutrients are particularly helpful. Here are some examples, and which foods supply them.

Vitamin B6: An ingredient needed to produce serotonin, the main neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. Too little serotonin is associated with depression. We need Vitamin B6 every day from our diet.

Sources: Pistachios. Garlic. Salmon and tuna. Chicken. Spinach. Cabbage. Bananas. Sweet potatoes. Avocados. Whole grains.

DHA: The main omega-3 fat in the brain. It promotes production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a hormone that protects neurons and promotes the birth of new brain cells.

Sources: Wild salmon. Oysters. Anchovies. Mackerel. Mussels.

Prebiotics: Foods that the good microbes in our gut need to stay alive.

Sources: Onions. Asparagus. Artichokes. Garlic. Bananas. Oats.

Probiotics: Live bacteria and yeasts that replenish the good bacteria in our microbiome.

Sources: Yogurt. Sauerkraut. Kefir. Kimchi or other fermented vegetables, such as turnips, cucumbers or carrots.


Write to Elizabeth Bernstein at elizabeth.bernstein@wsj.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at EBernsteinWSJ

Appeared in the April 3, 2018, print edition as ‘Foods That Help Battle Depression’.