Eating more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and certain spices for just three weeks helped significantly improve depression symptoms in college students. The right nutrition in food provided mood-boosting benefits.
After just three weeks, the group consuming a healthier diet showed significant improvements in mood. In fact, they no longer showed moderate-to-high depression scores, but rather moved into the normal range. They also reported less anxiety overall. In contrast, the regular diet group’s depression scores remained in the moderate-to-high range.
Three months later, the researchers followed up and discovered that the participants who kept eating in a healthy way maintained better moods than those who gave up their healthy eating habits.
Surprisingly, participants didn’t have to be overly strict with their diet. Even with minor lapses, they retained the mood-boosting benefits of good nutrition.
This study follows a large body of research that investigates the link between food and mood, adding to a growing field of nutritional psychiatry. In this practice, doctors are using food to help treat mental health disorders in addition to medication and therapy.
The key? Fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruit all make up components of the popular and healthful Mediterranean diet which has been shown to help the brain, lower cholesterol, and support longevity. Other health benefits include weight loss, a healthier heart, lower cholesterol, and lower risk of stroke.
Eating healthier is no magic bullet, but it could be a strategy worth pursuing if you struggle with depression or anxiety. It’s also relatively inexpensive when compared to more intensive counseling or medication.
Nutritional questions? If you’re looking for nutritional recommendations, trust the experts at Washington Wellness Center. We have years of experience providing nutritional advice for improved health and well-being. 609-426-1700