Scientists from the University of Technology Sydney found people with a poor diet saw a significant improvement in their symptoms of depression when they switched to a healthy Mediterranean diet.
The research is published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by Jessica Bayes et al.
Depression is a common mental health condition that affects approximately 1 million Australians each year. It is a big risk factor for suicide, the leading cause of death in young adults.
Roughly 30 percent of depressed patients fail to adequately respond to standard treatments for a major depressive disorder such as cognitive behavior therapy and anti-depressant medications.
In the study, the team examined the impact of a Mediterranean diet on the symptoms of depression in young men (aged 18-25).
The diet used in the study was rich in colorful vegetables, legumes and whole grains, oily fish, olive oil, and raw, unsalted nuts.
They found those assigned to the Mediterranean diet were able to strongly change their original diets, under the guidance of a nutritionist, over a short time frame.
The study contributes to the emerging field of nutritional psychiatry, which aims to explore the effect that specific nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns can have on mental health.
It suggests that medical doctors and psychologists should consider referring depressed young men to a nutritionist or dietitian as an important component of treating clinical depression.
There are lots of reasons why scientifically food affects mood. For example, around 90 percent of serotonin, a chemical that helps us feel happy, is made in our gut by our gut microbes.
There is emerging evidence that these microbes can communicate to the brain via the vagus nerve, in what is called the gut-brain axis.
To have beneficial microbes, people need to eat fiber, which is found in legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
If you care about mental health, please read studies that most people can fully recover from anxiety, and this depression drug could shut down the brain if used too much.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about depression drug that could protect you from severe COVID-19, and results showing this drug for depression may help stop cancer growth.
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