Foods to lift your mood

Depression is a state of mind that nobody wants to be in.

"I mentally and emotionally became numb," KeeShaun Coffeey said.

"That's how it hit me, if this is all there is, then I don't want to really keep going on," Nicholas Foreny explained.

There are many ways to help — medication, therapy — even food! 

First, eat smart carbs. Studies show carbs boost serotonin activity that affects your mood.  But choose complex carbs like whole grain oatmeal.

Next, serve up some salmon!

"Vitamins, especially the omega 3 fatty acids are known to have clear effects with depression," said Charles Conway, PhD, Psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis.

Or try foods rich in protein like tuna, turkey or chicken.  They're all rich in tryptophan which can play a role in mood regulation.

Go ahead and grab some dark leafy greens. Spinach, kale, or Swiss chard…severe depression has been linked with brain inflammation and these foods help reduce that.

And don't forget folic acid. Conway said, "There seems to be something with their brains that need more folic acid not to be depressed." A great source — tomatoes! 

Next, select selenium-rich foods. Low levels are associated with poor moods. A good source is beans and legumes, Brazil nuts and oysters.

Conway also says dietary changes alone typically will not bring about a recovery from depression but for most patients, talk therapy and/or medication will give them enough relief to live a normal, happy life.