‘Diets rich in fibre, vegetables can relieve depression’
Researchers have said that a healthy diet, which is rich in fibre and vegetables, can significantly reduce symptoms of depression.
The leader of the team of researchers, Dr Joseph Firth, an honorary research fellow at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, said, although, poor diets impacted mental health negatively, it did not automatically mean that improving one’s diet could ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, the researcher examined data on nearly 46,000 people to establish whether a better diet could improve mood disorders.
In the study, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, the researchers examined the information available from major electronic databases and searched for all randomised controlled trials that studied the effects of dietary interventions on the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The analysis revealed that every kind of dietary improvement significantly reduced depressive symptoms.
“The dietary interventions that eased depression included weight-loss diets, fat-reducing diets and nutrient-rich diets.
“The similar effects from any type of dietary improvement suggests that highly-specific or specialised 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, appear to be sufficient for avoiding the potentially negative psychological effects of a junk food diet,” Firth said.
Also, co-author of the study, Dr Brendon Stubbs, stressed the importance of exercise.
“Our results in this study found that when dietary interventions were combined with exercise, a greater improvement in depressive symptoms was experienced by people.
Taken together, our data really highlight the central role of eating a healthier diet and taking regular exercise to act as a viable treatment to help people with low moods,” Stubbs said.