Beat Your Depression with Antioxidants Rich Fruits and Vegetables

Depression and suicide has been increasing in this day and age, in all age groups. The suicidal rate has shown an increase of 2.4%. With these astounding increases, scientists have performed studies and they had discovered that by consuming fruits and vegetables which are high in antioxidants and folates, you are less likely to suffer from depression and other mental diseases.[1] Low folate levels in the blood also lead to depression. Studies have also shown that folate acid pills do not assist with depression. In fact it has been proven that these drugs actually lead to homicidal, suicide and worsen the conditions.[2]

Studies have shown that people who consumed more fruits and vegetables, suffered less from anxiety disorders, depression, stress and other mental health disorders.[3] This has been proven in a private hospital in India, in the pyschiatric ward. Patients between the ages 20- 60 who were diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders. These patients were tested, the results showed that these people were lacking in vitamin C, A and E significantly. Therefore they had begun with supplying these patients with these vitamins and their conditions had improved drastically after six weeks.[4] Antioxidants also helps with relieving sleep disorders, post traumatic stress, appetite decrease, panic attacks and phobias.


Which Fruits and Vegetables are High in Antioxidants?

Vitamin A and C consists of high levels of Beta- Carotene. Beta Carotene has many health benefits and are known for fighting off depression, improving the mood and even irritability.[5] Lycopene is a red colored carotenoid found in a few vegetables but mainly in tomatoes. Lycopene is extremely rich in lowering depression levels.[6] There is also a variety of fruits and vegetables that can assist with fighting off depression.

Fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C:

  • Bell peppers: yellow, red and green pepper.
  • Guavas
  • Dark leafy greens such as kale
  • Strawberries
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
  • Cooked tomatoes, this has shown to treat depression drastically

Fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin A:

  • Carrots
  • Dark leafy greens such as lettuce
  • Cooked sweet potatoes
  • Squash and butternut (cooked)
  • Dried apricots
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Tuna fish

Fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin E:

  • Dark leafy greens also carry high sources of Vitamin E such as: spinach and kale
  • Dried herbs such as: oregano, basil, thyme and parsely
  • Olives
  • Avocados: there are many methods of making this. You can have it as a side dish or even a spread over sandwiches.
  • Papayas
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Kiwis
  • Red bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard greens
  • Swiss chard (boiled)
  • Turnip greens

Fruits and vegetables that are high in Folate:

  • Black beans (cooked)
  • Lentils (cooked)
  • Pinto beans (cooked)
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas

In todays time, we experience an enormous amount of stress which eventually leads to depression. With these fruits and vegetables not only you are defeating depression and mental health disorders, but you are also leading a healthier lifestyle. If you are currently suffering with depression or any mental health issues, start eating any of these fruits and vegetables. Prevention is always better than cure.

Scholarly References

  1. S Gilbody, T Lightfoot, T Sheldon. Is low folate a risk factor for depression? A meta‐analysis and exploration of heterogeneity. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 Jul; 61(7): 631–637.
  1. 4. A L Sharpley, R Hockney. L McPeake, J R Gedes, P J Cowen. Folic acid supplementation for prevention of mood disorders in young people at familial risk: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial. J Affect Disord. 2014 Oct;167:306-11.
  1. M A Beydoun, H A Beydoun, A Boueiz, M R Shroff, A B Zonderman. Antioxidant status and its association with elevated depressive symptoms among US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2005-6. Br J Nutr. 2013 May;109(9):1714-29.
  1. P F Louis. A diet high in antioxidants helps banish anxiety, stress and depression. Natural News. Available from:
  1. M E Payne, S E Steck, R R George, D C Steffens. Fruit, vegetable, and antioxidant intakes are lower in older adults with depression. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Dec;112(12):2022-7.
  1. K Niu, H Guo, M Kakizaki, Y Cui, K Ohmori-Matsuda, L Guan, A Hozawa, S Kuriyama, T Tsuboya, T Ohrui, K Furukawa, H Arai, I Tsuji, R Nagatomi. A tomato-rich diet is related to depressive symptoms among an elderly population aged 70 years and over: a population-based, cross-sectional analysis. J Affect Disord. 2013 Jan 10;144(1-2):165-70.

Author Bio

Shayma Vawda is an experienced freelance writer. She wrote four short recipe books with nutritional information and she is quite knowledgeable in the health and nutrition niche. Apart from health and nutrition, Shayma also writes on topics related to babies, children and their wellbeing, pregnancy, substance abuse and psychological issues.

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