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March 29, 2021 • Brain Health

Healthy Diets Have Antidepressant Effects

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Rejoice! Thanks to a powerful report, we now have convincing evidence that healthy eating can ease the symptoms of depression. For this first-of-its-kind analysis, scientists pooled the data from 16 clinical trials encompassing over 45,000 study subjects. All of the trials were conducted to test the effects of dietary changes on the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The results? Adopting healthier dietary habits notably lifted study subjects’ moods. Consuming more plant-based, nutrient dense foods like fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains, while reducing fast foods and sugary foods and beverages were the basic steps leading to the mood-lifting magic this study illuminated. Female study subjects seemed to especially benefit from improved diet quality. What’s more—combining exercise with healthy diet changes lead to even greater improvements in mood.
As someone who suffered two episodes of major depression in earlier adult life, I can personally attest to the profound, life-changing impact healthy eating and exercise have not only on treating depression , but in preventing it as well. Honestly—mood, happiness, and mental wellbeing are my most powerful motivators for eating a healthy diet.
(Psychosomatic Medicine , 2019; 1 DOI:  10.1097/PSY.0000000000000673)

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