Mediterranean Diet May Help Tackle Depression
Cases of depression is on the rise and the imminent result being suicide.
Every day studies are being conducted to combat this pandemic and one of such studies seems to give a glimmer of hope.
A Mediterranean diet that consists fruit, veg, grains nuts and oil with a little touch of meat and dairy seems to have positive effects on mood.
The discovery comes from a review of 41 studies in Molecular Psychiatry published within the last eight years.
Dr Camille Lasalle,and a team who carried out the analysis with colleagues at University College London, said the evidence so far pointed to the idea that the foods we eat can make a difference in lowering our risk of depression, even though it can be proven clinically yet.
They noted that being depressed affects an individual and may cause loss of appetite.
They added that happy people tend to look after themselves more and adopt healthier lifestyles and checking alcohol intake which is a known mood depressant.
More tightly controlled trials need to be carried out to be sure of the impact a Mediterranean diet might have.
Prof Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, recommended “a heavy dose of caution”.
“Whilst eating healthier is good for many reasons, we need more evidence before we can say plant-rich diets can improve mental health,” he said.
“The only way to prove whether the links are genuine is to conduct large randomised trials in people at risk of depression. Such trials would take considerable effort but seem worthwhile to conduct.”
Stephen Buckley, from mental-health charity Mind, said it was good advice to eat a healthy diet, get regular physical activity and lower the intake of “mood-altering products, such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol”.
“It’s widely accepted that there’s a strong connection between what we eat and how we feel, with blood-sugar levels affecting our mood and energy.
“If you are experiencing depression or anxiety, it might be hard to focus on your health, or you may resort to unhelpful coping strategies, such as drugs or alcohol.
“If this is the case, you might benefit from other forms of treatment such as medication or talking therapies.”
Researchers have also discovered that people who stick to Mediterranean diet do not struggle with weight gain.
A typical Mediterranean diet includes lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, cereals and cereal products, for example wholegrain bread, pasta and brown rice. It also contains average quantity of fish, white meat and some dairy produce.
It is also important to add healthy fats.