Feeling a bit down in the dumps? Perhaps your diet is playing a role. There’s fresh evidence that eating a healthy diet, one that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and limits highly processed foods, can help reduce symptoms of depression.
According to a randomized controlled trial published in the journal PLOS ONE, switching over to a Mediterranean-style pattern of eating improved the moods of participants.
Those in the study rated their depression symptoms from “moderate” to “normal” after three weeks and reported lower levels of anxiety and stress. Meanwhile, the control group, who continued eating processed foods with refined carbohydrates, saw no changes.
In this study, participants in the “healthy eating” arm of the study ate about six more servings of fruits and vegetables per week, compared with the control group. Participants were also instructed to increase consumption of whole grains to a recommended three servings per day, as well as three servings per day of protein from lean meats, poultry, eggs, tofu and beans. In addition, they were told to get three servings of fish per week. Here’s the complete story from NPR.