Recommendation

Rationale

Notes

Maintain a healthy weight.

A positive body image is important to mental health.

Diets very low in fat can actually make you depressed, so to maintain a healthy weight, exercise more rather than cutting out too many fats.

Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables promote brain function.

Berries, citrus fruits, and dark green leafy vegetables are all rich in phytonutrients.

Eat regular meals and snacks.

Avoid the emotional highs and lows associated with fluctuating blood sugar levels.

Choose foods with a low glycemic index, such as beans and oats.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Both are depressants.

If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, limit intake to one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks per day if you're a man.

Source: Jaime S. Ruud, RD, research analyst in the department of nutritional science and dietetics at the University of Nebraska and author of Nutrition and the Female Athlete (CRC Press, 1996).