Best foods, vitamins and natural supplements for depression and anxiety

Surfing around the net, you will find numerous miracle natural cures for depression and anxiety. And unfortunately, they mainly don’t work. They sound nice, they give you the hope, they motivate you – but at the end of the day, they just don’t work. Now, even though here I will be writing about some of those natural cures for depression and anxiety, I want to be clear about one thing: if you suffer from very severe depression or anxiety, using only natural remedies for anxiety and depression probably won’t be enough. You will take some kind of medication, attending some kind of psychotherapy, or both. However, these natural remedies for depression and anxiety might relieve your symptoms or prevent them from appearing in the first place.

So, what do the studies say, which vitamins, supplements and foods really are good for depression and anxiety? To begin with, a study by Sasaki et al. conducted in 2006. concluded that consuption of vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, may be protective against postpartum depression. Another ingredient found to be effetive in treating of depression and anxiety is folic acid. A 2006. study by Sanchez-Villegas et al. found that folate intake was inversly related with depression prevalence among men. The Finnish Kuopio Heart study arrived to the same conclusion. As far as women are considered, it appears that prevalence of depression is associated with lack of vitamin B12. Pennix et al. carried out a study in 2000. and what they foun out was that subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency were 2.05 times as likely to be severely depressed as nondeficient subjects.

Foods and supplements that really work

Based on results of these studies, in this article I will list best foods and supplements that are rich in these vitamins and ingredients and can thus help you deal with anxiety and depression.

    1. Yeast extract

Yeast extract is completely natural ingredient produced from the same yeast used in production of wine, beer and bread. It is rich in riboflavin or vitamin B2, which turned out to be one of the best vitamins for depression and anxiety. it also consist of small amount of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and this is main concern about yeast extract. But you don’t need to worry about it since it’s level of glutamate is really quite low and you will only find small amounts of in your food because of it’s very strong taste. However, if you are MSG-sensitive watch out even for those small doses. As it is commonly used as the flavour enhancer, you will find yeast extract in variety of foods such as cheese, yogurt, canned soups and fish, cereals, breats, sauces, snacks etc.

2. Liver

If you are not too squeamish, give it a try. Similar to yeats extract, the liver of most animals is ful of vitamin B12. However, if you can choose, take lamb liver as it appears to provide the most riboflavin which makes it pretty good food for depression and anxiety. The heart and kidneys come in close second and third, so if you are meat connoisseur you might even enjoy it. I wouldn’t.

    3. Pasilla peppers

The pasilla pepper is a dark green chlly pepper and is considered to be a mildly hot pepper. It is an excellent source of many vitamins, especially vitamin B and riboflavin. It contains 3.197 milligrams of riboflavin per 100g, which is higher then most of the vegatables and about twice as much as youu need to consume daily. You should definitely use it in your diet for depression and anxiety.

4. Spinach

Most of green leafy vegetables are pretty good sources of folic acid, but spinach is the king. It contains 135.25 micrograms of folic acid per 100g, which is about third of the recommended daily dose, or fourth if you are pregnant. Spinach really is one of those foods that can actually help you with depression and anxiety.

    5. St John’s wort

When talking about the natural supplements for depression and anxiety, by no means we can skip this herb. Going by it’s latin name Hypericum perforatum, this herb is available in tablet, capsule and liquid form. There is strong scientific evidence that it can reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety to the same extent as antidepressants. However, don’t overdo it as it can also have the similar side effects as antidepressants such as dizziness and fatigue, but to a lesser extent.

Of course, any overview of best vitamins and natural supplements for anxiety and depression can not be complete without Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 certainly is one of the best supplements for depression and anxiety arond there and I have been writing about it before. You can read more about it here.

I hope that this summary gave you the picture about proper foods for preventing  and fighting depression and anxiety. however, getting the information is only half of it – the hard part really is to start implementing these information and advices and making real life changes. Good luck with that.

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