Food Influences Mental Health
An analysis of data from almost 46,000 people has found that weight loss, nutrient boosting and fat reduction diets can all reduce the symptoms of depression.
Dr Joseph Firth, an Honorary Research fellow at The University of Manchester and Research Fellow at NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University, says existing research has been unable to definitively establish if dietary improvement could benefit mental health.
And the study provides convincing evidence that dietary improvement significantly reduces symptoms of depression, even in people without diagnosed depressive disorders.
Dr Firth said: “The overall evidence for the effects of diet on mood and mental well-being had up to now yet to be assessed.
“But our recent meta-analysis has done just that; showing that adopting a healthier diet can boost peoples’ mood. However, it has no clear effects on anxiety.”
“The similar effects from any type of dietary improvement suggests that highly-specific or specialized diets are unnecessary for the average individual.
“Instead, just making simple changes is equally beneficial for mental health. In particular, eating more nutrient-dense meals which are high in fibre and vegetables, while cutting back on fast-foods and refined sugars appears to be sufficient for avoiding the potentially negative psychological effects of a ‘junk food’ diet.” said Dr Firth