According to a new study, sticking to a Mediterranean diet and getting nutritional support could be a powerful duo when it comes to depression symptoms.
Although the study was small – involving 67 participants with major depressive disorder – the results were striking: Nearly a third of those who got support from a clinical dietician and increased their consumption of Mediterranean-type foods were in remission compared to just eight percent of those who just got social support, according to a study published in BMC Medicine.
The Australian researchers suspect that the healthier diet works against depression by lowering inflammation all over the body and protecting the brain proteins.
While further research is still needed, the study gives credence to the idea of adding dietitians to mental health care teams. “I think the field of nutritional psychiatry, which looks at the effects of nutrients and amino acids on the brain and mood may be taking off in the next 10 years or so,” Sarah Stahl, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told Today.com.
Some key components of the Mediterranean diet include:
- Pile on the fruits and vegetables
- Choose healthy fats – olive oil over butter
- Pick seeds and nuts
- Load up on legumes (peas, beans, lentils)
- Focus on fish (especially fatty fish) and poultry
- Choose cheese and yogurt as main sources of dairy
- Go for whole grains
- Stick to lean meats
- Add herbs and spices instead of salt
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit
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