Anti-Depression Foods: Protein List

High protein foods provide amino acids that enable the brain to function in a non-depressive state. A shortage of protein in the diet can increase likelihood of experiencing depression. Of course, the good news is that there’s an easy fix: eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein. This can vary, but for many of us that means around 4 ounces (20 to 30 grams) of a high protein food at each meal. If you consistently consume much less than that and are often in a low-mood state, consider increasing you consumption of the amount of some foods from the list below.

You may have heard some conflicting opinions between factions that recommend higher protein with lower carbohydrates or vice versa. We won’t take a side in that argument because there is evidence that different people can respond well to both. The aforementioned a amount of protein for each meal is not excessive, so you might start with this amount while cutting down on carbs. Then if you still feel things are not right after a few weeks, consider adding carbs back—but be sure and choose from the healthy carbs list.

If possible, make a priority of 3-4 fish meals per week. Fish fights depression in two ways, since it is both a good source of protein and a good source of Omega-3 fats. Unlike protein sources like chicken, cheese or peanut butter, fish is proportionately low in Omega-6 fats, of which we tend to take in far too much and which can compete with Omega-3 in the brain.

If you choose to be a vegetarian, you are going to have more of a challenge in creating an anti-depression foods diet for yourself. The quality and quantity of proteins and Omega-3 fats in vegetable sources are such that you will need to eat larger quantities in order to meet your needs.

A serving size of 4 ounces is used throughout this chart for easy comparison. You wouldn’t eat some of these foods (such as parmesan cheese) in that quantity, but you can use the amounts to see how estimate quantities in combination for a single meal.

Protein Content of Various Foods

Protein: Dairy Products Serving Size(ounces) Protein (grams)
Cheese, Parmesan 4 oz 47.6 g
Cheese, Goat, hard 4 oz 36.4 g
Cheese, Swiss, low fat 4 oz 31.7 g
Cheese, Mozzarella, part skim milk, low moisture 4 oz 29.2 g
Cheese, Provolone 4 oz 29.2 g
Cheese, Cheddar 4 oz 28.5 g
Cheese, Monterey 4 oz 27.4 g
Egg, whole, cooked, fried 4 oz 14.7 g
Cottage Cheese, lowfat, 1% milkfat 4 oz 14 g
Yogurt, plain, skim milk 4 oz 6.2 g
Milk, nonfat, fluid, protein fortified, with added vitamin A (fat free and skim) 4 oz 4.6 g
Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added nonfat milk solids and vitamin A (fat free or skim) 4 oz 4.1 g
Milk, nonfat, fluid, without added vitamin A (fat free or skim) 4 oz 3.7 g
Butter 4 oz 1 g
Protein: Fish Serving Size(ounces) Protein (grams)
Tuna, Yellowfin, fresh, cooked, dry heat 4 oz 33.3 g
Roe, mixed species, cooked, dry heat 4 oz 32 g
Trout, mixed species, cooked, dry heat 4 oz 31 g
Tuna, white, canned in oil, drained solids 4 oz 30 g
Salmon, pink, cooked, dry heat 4 oz 24.5 g
Haddock, smoked 4 oz 28.3 g
Sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone 4 oz 28.1 g
Ocean Perch, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat 4 oz 27.2 g
Mussel, blue, cooked, moist heat 4 oz 26.6 g
Crab, Dungeness, cooked, moist heat 4 oz 25.3 g
Catfish, channel, wild, cooked, dry heat 4 oz 20.6 g
Oyster, eastern, wild, cooked, dry heat 4 oz 9.3 g
Protein: Poultry Serving Size(ounces) Protein (grams)
Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, fried 4 oz 37 g
Turkey, fryer-roasters, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted 4 oz 33.8 g
Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted 4 oz 34.8 g
Protein: Beef Serving Size(ounces) Protein (grams)
Beef, chuck, arm pot roast, separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, all grades, cooked, braised 4 oz 39.3 g
Beef, brisket, flat half, separable lean only, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, choice, cooked, braised 4 oz 37.5 g
Beef, ground, 85% lean meat / 15% fat, crumbles, cooked, pan-browned [hamburger, ground round] 4 oz 32 g
Beef, rib, large end (ribs 6-9), separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, all grades, cooked, roasted 4 oz 31.2 g
Beef, variety meats and by-products, liver, cooked, pan-fried 4 oz 29.4 g
Beef, ground, 75% lean meat / 25% fat, crumbles, cooked, pan-browned [hamburger] 4 oz 29.3 g
Beef, short loin, t-bone steak, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, select, raw 4 oz 22.5 g
Protein: Pork Serving Size(ounces) Protein (grams)
Pork, cured, bacon, cooked, pan-fried 4 oz 48.8 g
Pork, cured, ham with natural juices, slice, bone-in, separable lean only, heated, pan-broil 4 oz 31.3 g
Pork, fresh, composite of trimmed retail cuts (loin and shoulder blade), separable lean and fat, cooked 4 oz 29.5 g
Pork, fresh, ground, cooked 4 oz 28.9 g
Protein: Nut and Seeds Serving Size(ounces) Protein (grams)
Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted 4 oz 37.4 g
Peanuts, all types, oil-roasted  (very
high in Omega-6)
4 oz 31.5 g
Peanut butter, chunky, vitamin and mineral fortified
(very high in Omega-6)
4 oz 29.4 g
Peanut butter, smooth, reduced fat 4 oz 28.3 g
Peanut butter, smooth style 4 oz 28.5 g
Beans, kidney, royal red, mature seeds, cooked,
boiled
4 oz 8.8 g
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, cooked, boiled 4 oz 9.9 g
Lima beans, large, mature seeds, cooked, boiled 4 oz 9 g
Beans, navy, mature seeds, canned 4 oz 8.6 g
Refried beans, canned, fat-free 4 oz 5.8 g

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