There’s no guarantee that specific foods will make you happier, but experts have some suggestions that may be beneficial:

Start small. Begin with easy changes, such as replacing sugary desserts with fresh or no-sugar-added frozen fruit and a bit of dark chocolate.

Focus on whole foods. Make fresh and unpackaged foods, such as produce and whole grains, the centerpiece of your diet, and limit highly processed items to one a day (or less), Naidoo says.

Check ingredients lists: Ultraprocessed foods usually have long ones and additives such as artificial flavors; added sugars, such as corn or malt syrup; and preservatives.

Go veggie. Getting more produce may be good for body and mind. A U.K. study published last January in the journal Social Science and Medicine found that the more fruits and vegetables people consumed, the better their mental well-being over a three-year period. “Even just making sure that you incorporate five servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day can reap benefits,” Naidoo says. For extra credit, focus on veggies such as watercress, spinach, mustard greens, lettuces, and Swiss chard, and fresh herbs such as cilantro and basil (plus, shellfish like clams and mussels). All earn a high Antidepressant Food Score, which Ramsey created based on available data on the effects of specific nutrients on mood.

Coddle your microbiome. Include foods that contain live “good” bacteria cultures (aka probiotics)—such as yogurt, kefir, and fermented veggies like sauerkraut—in your daily diet, Ramsey says. And eat foods with prebiotics, a fiber that feeds good gut bacteria. Good sources include garlic, leeks, asparagus, onions, chicory root, and Jerusalem artichoke.

Look to the Mediterranean. Some research supports the role of a Mediterranean-like diet—one that’s rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, fatty fish, nuts, and olive oil. A possible reason: The diet contains plentiful amounts of folate and vitamin B12, which have been associated with a reduced risk of depression, says Konstantinos Argyropoulos, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist at the Hellenic Open University in Greece. Mediterranean-style diets may also reduce inflammation, which some research has linked to a higher depression risk.