Nutrients Table

What we eat affects our mental health. Good nutrition can be just as important for our minds as it is for our bodies.

If you find that your mood changes after meals and snacks, it may be that you're lacking the nutrients that can help promote good mental health. Use the table below to learn what your diet might be missing and what foods might make a difference to your mental health.

Download the Nutrients table (PDF file, 146KB)

Are you experiencing…?

Your diet may lack

Foods which contain these nutrients

Anxiety

Folic AcidVeg: spinach, lettuce, asparagus, beetroot, savoy cabbage, bok choi, broccoli, green peas, fresh parsley, brussels sprouts, avocados, cauliflower
Fish: cod, tuna, salmon, halibut, shrimp
Meat: calf's liver, turkey
Nuts and seeds: peanuts, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts
Beans and pulses: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans
Fruit: oranges
MagnesiumVeg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress
Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds
Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa
Dairy: plain yoghurt
Beans and pulses: baked beans
Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins
Sweet: chocolate

Poor Concentration & Attention

Vitamin B1 Wholegrain: spelt bread, oats, brown rice, barley, fresh pasta
Pulses and beans: lentils, soya milk
Veg: peppers, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, watercress, green peas, aubergine, brussel sprouts
Nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds
Fish/seafood: tuna, salmon, mussels
Meat: pork

Depression

Vitamin B3Wholegrains: brown rice, rice bran, wheatgerm
Veg: broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, brussels sprouts, courgette, squash
Nuts: peanuts
Meat: beef liver, beef kidney, pork, turkey, chicken
Fish: tuna, salmon
Seeds: sunflower seeds
Vitamin B6Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley
Fruit: bananas, mango
Fish: tuna, trout, salmon
Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy, potatoes
Meat: chicken, pork loin, turkey
Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas
Seeds: sunflower seeds
Vitamin CVeg: red pepper, red cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, celery, squash, cabbage, watercress
Fresh fruit: strawberries, oranges, tangerines, kiwi, cantaloupe, papaya, cranberries, pineapple
Folic AcidVeg: spinach, lettuce, asparagus, beetroot, savoy cabbage, bok choi, broccoli, green peas, fresh parsley, brussels sprouts, avocados, cauliflower
Fish: cod, tuna, salmon, halibut, shrimp
Meat: calf's liver, turkey
Nuts and seeds: peanuts, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts
Beans and pulses: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans
Fruit: oranges
MagnesiumVeg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress
Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds
Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa
Dairy: plain yoghurt
Beans and pulses: baked beans
Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins
Sweet: chocolate
SeleniumWholegrains: wheat germ, brewers yeast
Meat: calf liver, turkey breast
Fish: cod, tuna, halibut, salmon, shrimp
Veg: mushrooms, garlic, spinach
Nuts: brazil nuts
Beans and pulses: tofu
Wholegrains: barley, rye, oats, long grain brown rice
Dairy: mozzarella cheese
Seeds: mustard, sunflower
ZincSeafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp
Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal
Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds
Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt
Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso
Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef
Seeds: pumpkin, sesame
Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli
Fruit: blackberries, kiwi
Omega 3 fatty acidsFish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, scallops, fresh tuna, halibut, shrimp, cod, trout
Seeds: Flaxseed
Nuts: Walnuts
TryptophanLean meat: Skinless turkey, skinless chicken
Dairy: plain yoghurt, milk, eggs, cheddar, gruyere, swiss cheese, cottage cheese
Nuts: almonds, pistachios, pecan, hazelnuts, peanuts/soy nuts
Seeds: poppy, pumpkin, sesame seeds
Beans and pulses: lentils, chick peas (hummus), kidney, lima beans, soya
Veg: spinach, watercress, cabbage
TyrosineLean meat: turkey, tuna, chicken liver, beef liver
Dairy: cheddar, stilton, boursault, camembert, emmenthal, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss cheeses, sour cream
Veg: avocados, green beans, tofu, miso soup, soy sauce, spinach, yeast extract (Marmiteetc)
Fruit: bananas, tinned figs, plums, raisins, tomatoes, prunes
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)Wholegrains

Poor Memory

Vitamin B5Wholegrains: oats, brown rice, wheatgerm, bran, brown bread
Dairy: yoghurt
Fruits: watermelon, blackberries, lemons, raspberries, strawberries
Veg: broccoli, watercress, cauliflower, alfalfa sprouts, peas, carrots, celery, avocados, sweet potatoes, mushrooms
Beans and pulses: broad beans, chick peas
Vitamin B6Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley
Fruit: bananas, mango
Fish: tuna, trout, salmon
Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy, potatoes
Meat: chicken, pork loin, turkey
Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas
Seeds: sunflower seeds
Vitamin B12Meat: calf liver, chicken, turkey, lamb
Fish/seafood: salmon, halibut, bass, tuna, shrimp, trout, oysters, crab, clams
Dairy: cottage cheese, low fat yoghurt, boiled or poached eggs, milk
Omega 3 fatty acidsFish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, scallops, fresh tuna, halibut, shrimp, cod, trout
Seeds: Flaxseed
Nuts: Walnuts

Irritability

Vitamin B6Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley
Fruit: bananas, mango
Fish: tuna, trout, salmon
Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy, potatoes
Meat: chicken, pork loin, turkey
Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas
Seeds: sunflower seeds
MagnesiumVeg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress
Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds
Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa
Dairy: plain yoghurt
Beans and pulses: baked beans
Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins
Sweet: chocolate
SeleniumWholegrains: wheat germ, brewers yeast
Meat: calf liver, turkey breast
Fish: cod, tuna, halibut, salmon, shrimp
Veg: mushrooms, garlic, spinach
Nuts: brazil nuts
Beans and pulses: tofu
Wholegrains: barley, rye, oats, long grain brown rice
Dairy: mozzarella cheese
Seeds: mustard, sunflower

Stress

Vitamin B6Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley
Fruit: bananas, mango
Fish: tuna, trout, salmon
Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy, potatoes
Meat: chicken, pork loin, turkey
Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas
Seeds: sunflower seeds
Vitamin B3Wholegrains: brown rice, rice bran, wheatgerm
Veg: broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, brussels sprouts, courgette, squash
Nuts: peanuts
Meat: beef liver, beef kidney, pork, turkey, chicken
Fish: tuna, salmon
Seeds: sunflower seeds
MagnesiumVeg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress
Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds
Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa
Dairy: plain yoghurt
Beans and pulses: baked beans
Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins
Sweet: chocolate

Confusion

Vitamin B12Meat: calf liver, chicken, turkey, lamb
Fish/seafood: salmon, halibut, bass, tuna, shrimp, trout, oysters, crab, clams
Dairy: cottage cheese, low fat yoghurt, boiled or poached eggs, milk
ZincSeafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp
Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal
Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds
Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt
Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso
Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef
Seeds: pumpkin, sesame
Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli
Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

Insomnia

MagnesiumVeg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress
Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds
Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa
Dairy: plain yoghurt
Beans and pulses: baked beans
Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins
Sweet: chocolate

Blank mind

ZincSeafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp
Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal
Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds
Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt
Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso
Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef
Seeds: pumpkin, sesame
Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli
Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

Loss of appetite

ZincSeafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp
Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal
Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds
Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt
Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso
Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef
Seeds: pumpkin, sesame
Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli
Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

Lack of motivation

ZincSeafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp
Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal
Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds
Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt
Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso
Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef
Seeds: pumpkin, sesame
Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli
Fruit: blackberries, kiwi
TyrosineLean meat: turkey, tuna, chicken liver, beef liver
Dairy: cheddar, stilton, boursault, camembert, emmenthal, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss cheeses, sour cream
Veg: avocados, green beans, tofu, miso soup, soy sauce, spinach, yeast extract (Marmiteetc)
Fruit: bananas, tinned figs, plums, raisins, tomatoes, prunes

Disclaimer

This information is intended as a guide only. Some foods may cause allergic reactions. If you have any dietary concerns or feel you may be anxious or depressed or experiencing any other mental health problem, you should consult your GP or medical advisor.

Download the Nutrients table (PDF file, 146KB)

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Podcasts

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