diets can help depression

Diets can help depression – eating your way to happiness

Diets can help depression – a new study by Prof Felice Jacka and colleagues from the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University and the University of Melbourne Department of Psychiatry has recently shown this.  It has long been thought that our diets could  improve depression and have a major influence on our health – physical, mental and cognitive.

Depression is an unfortunately common condition in our community and there are approximately 3 million Australians currently living with depression or anxiety.  The ‘SMILES’ trial (Supporting the Modification of lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States) showed that the addition of a dietary intervention reduced depression symptoms and lead to a higher rate of remission from depression proving that for some,  diets can help depression.

The ModiMediet

The diet used to help depression was the “ModiMediet” – this is a modified Mediterranean diet based on the Dietary Guidelines of Australia and Greece.  It involved consuming 12 key food groups -whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, low-fat and unsweetened dairy foods, raw and unsalted nuts, fish, lean red meat, chicken, eggs and oil.  At the same time, the diet involved reducing foods such as sweets, refined cereals, fried food, fast-food, processed meats, sugary drinks and alcohol.

Other treatments for depression include interventions involving other lifestyle factors such as exercise and sleep as well as psychological interventions such as Cognitive behavioural Therapy  (CBT) and medications.  To find out more about depression and treatment of depression, I recommend the Beyond Blue and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists websites. Of Course, each individual is different and dietary measures for depression may not be enough. Please, always seek the advice of your GP or psychiatrist regarding your individual management which may involve other forms of treatment.

So Diets can help Depression

It is exciting to read and share one of the first studies that shows that we may be able to eat our way to happiness! Have you found that certain foods do affect your mood in a positive or negative way? Please comment.

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