Depression Food Doesn’t Taste Good


Depression is a prevalent mental health disorder that affects millions worldwide. Those that suffer from depression often experience a lack of motivation, feelings of sadness, and changes in appetite. A common symptom of depression is a negative relationship with food, which ultimately leaves many sufferers without the essential nutrients they need to maintain good health. In this article, we will discuss depression food and why it doesn’t taste good.

The Link Between Depression and Food

Depression can significantly affect one’s relationship with food. Many people suffering from depression either overeat or stop eating altogether, resulting in an imbalanced diet that lacks the essential nutrients the body needs. Food also has the potential to become a tool for coping with depression and can often be used in harmful ways, such as binge eating or undereating. Depression not only affects the physical body but also the person’s social and psychological well-being, making it difficult to maintain a healthy diet.

Why Depression Affects Taste Buds

It is not uncommon for people suffering from depression to lose their appetite, thus resulting in a lack of enjoyment when consuming food. This occurs due to the brain’s reward system being disrupted, which is responsible for a person’s sense of pleasure and motivation. The lack of activation in the reward system can lead to the taste buds not recognizing the deliciousness of food, making it unappealing.

Furthermore, in many cases, depression can cause a person to alter their taste preferences. Often, people who are depressed crave foods that are high in fats and sugars or want to eat less than usual. It is because these types of food can have a temporary effect on mood, but they often follow with feelings of guilt, putting the person back into the cycle of depression.

Why Comfort Foods Don’t Provide Relief

When initiating a conversation about depression and food, many people tend to mention comfort food. Comfort food has been identified as food that provides a sense of nostalgia, happiness, and often love. Although, for individuals suffering from depression, comfort food doesn’t always provide the same relief it would typically provide.

Comfort food is often high in unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, salt, and fat, which can leave a person feeling bloated, sluggish, and fatigued. These symptoms can exacerbate the feelings of depression and feelings of low self-esteem that depression can produce.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Diet?

Eating healthily can have a direct impact on a person’s mental and physical health, and it’s essential to find a way to get individuals with depression to consume an adequate amount of nutrients. Here are some tips on what you can do to improve your diet:

1. Set Small Goals

Setting achievable goals can help individuals with depression feel like they are making progress. It would be best if you started with small goals, like adding an extra serving of fruits or vegetables a day, and gradually move on to larger ones.

2. Avoid Skipping Meals

It’s important to make an effort to consume at least three meals a day, and avoid skipping meals as it can lead to overeating later in the day.

3. Increase Water Intake

Drinking adequate amounts of water can help improve a person’s mood, lower stress levels, and improve cognitive function.

4. Eat a Balanced Diet

It would be best to eat a balanced diet that includes whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein with a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates like brown rice, whole-grain bread, and legumes. Avoid processed and high-sugar foods.

5. Monitor Portion Sizes

Controlling portion sizes can help individuals with depression to have a better relationship with food and reduces the risk of overeating.


Depression and food are closely related, and the negative impact of depression on a person’s diet can cause a range of health problems. Food can still taste good, but it takes work for individuals with depression to recognize the pleasure of eating. It’s essential to take care of one’s physical and mental health and make healthier choices to help manage depression’s effects. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet can improve symptoms and assist in better controlling depression symptoms.


FAQs about Depression Food Doesn’t Taste Good

1. What causes the changes in taste during depression?

Depression can affect the taste buds and olfactory system, making food taste less appetising or bland. This is due to the changes in brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin, affecting our sense of taste and smell.

2. Can a change in diet improve depression symptoms?

Eating a healthy and balanced diet can improve mood and alleviate the symptoms of depression. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can boost serotonin levels in the brain, which can lead to an improvement in mood and energy levels.

3. What are some tips for making food taste better during depression?

Experimenting with different flavours and spices can make food more enjoyable during depression. Making meals more visually appealing, having meals with friends and family, and incorporating physical activity into your routine can also help to enhance your mood and appetite. It’s best to seek professional help if you’re struggling with depression and its effect on your diet.


1. American Psychological Association. (2020). Depression: Definition.

2. Gehrman, P. R., & Harman, J. S. (2020). Taste Disturbances in Depression. American Journal of Psychiatry.

3. McEwen, B. S. (2015). Mood disorders and allostatic load. Biological psychiatry, 77(1), 3-4.