Our bodies are influenced by what we put into our bodies, but how does following a healthy diet affect our mood, and can good nutritional food have an impact on depression rates?
A new study carried out at Rush University Medical Center has found that following a balanced, healthy diet has not only confirmed lower levels of depression, but also a lower risk of hypertension.
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was created with the aim to lower blood pressure without the use of medications! Much of this diet is made up to consuming natural foods – plenty of fruit and veg, grains and low-fat dairy.
This research carried out over six years following over 950 people, observing symptoms of depression and looking closely at the subjects diets, the finding was remarkable as those who followed the DASH diet were amongst the lowest group likely to suffer from depression.
Although the author of the study does point out that the diet does not confirm reduction in depression however the study does lead to the inevitable question as to whether or not a bad diet does make individuals feel worse if they follow a bad diet.
A trial carried out by Deakin University researched whether or not following a natural diet could help a person with depression, 67 people diagnosed with major depressive disorder were broken into two groups. Group number one were given a Mediterranean style diet to follow, whilst the second group were given a structured support program, commonly used for people with depression.
After 12 weeks the results came back showing that 1/3 of the individuals following the diet were confirmed to have entered remission for depression. That is compared to 8% of the social support group following that program, with those heeding the diet benefiting the greatest to depressive symptoms.
Although it is yet to be confirmed if an unhealthy diet causes depression, the long-term health implications of following a well-balanced diet are in no doubt.