Drug companies and ordinary physicians characterize depression as an imbalance of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain which plays a big role in many brain functions.

This tends to convince the general public that depression can be treated by flooding the brain with serotonin. There is actually no scientific proof that treating depression by means of drug therapy is effective.

Several studies have not established that the level of serotonin is directly related to depression. In one study, scientists tried to induce depression by lowering the subject’s serotonin level, but failed. Another experiment which tried to treat a depressed person by increasing his serotonin level was also unsuccessful.

There is now a big question why doctors continue to administer patients with serotonin when this therapy does not help at all.

According to American health experts, the standard American diet, which is deficient in vitamins and minerals, may have played a direct role in the many symptoms of depression. In short, health experts are trying to say that depression, mood swings and fatigue can be caused by poor nutrition.

You can actually avoid depression or recover from it by regulating your diet and consuming foods which are rich in brain-boosting nutrients. Here are the foods that help to regulate your brain chemistry:

1. Fish

Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids known as EPA and DHA; these fatty acids work together to help the brain function at optimal levels.

A study featured in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that consuming a gram of fish oil a day can decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts by 50 percent.

2. Brown Rice

Brown rice is another brain food for its load of vitamins B1 and B3. It is rich in folic acid and it helps to facilitate the gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream to prevent sugar lows which can trigger mood swings.

3. Brewer’s Yeast

Brewer’s yeast is not recommended for people who have low tolerance to yeast. But for those who can, it would be beneficial because it is rich in vitamins B1, B2 and B3 and a great load of vitamins and minerals which include 16 amino acids and 14 minerals. Amino acids play a big role in optimizing the health of your nervous system.

4. Whole-grain Oats

Whole grain oats contain pantothenic acid, folic acid and vitamins B1 and B6. They help to maintain your blood sugar levels and keep you away from “blood sugar crash-and burn” which can lead to mood swings.

5. Cabbage

This green leafy vegetable is rich in vitamin C and folic acid, which is thought to reduce the risk of brain degeneration.

Other natural ways to combat depression are plenty of sunshine, regular exercise, laughter and social interaction.