We talk a great deal about the benefits of exercise when it comes to mental health, and rightfully so.
A number of studies, including one by Harvard Medical School, have found that exercise is as effective as medication for treating depression.
But Nutritionist Melissa Brunetti, who specialises in the connection between food and mental health, says that diet is also an overlooked treatment for depression.
What we eat, Brunetti told Quartz, “can have a huge impact on people’s mental health.
“Nutrients are needed to fuel our brain. If we’re not getting the nutrients in through diet, then we don’t have the nutrients to formulate our neurotransmitters, our neurochemicals, or regulate our blood sugar or hormones.”
But with what is often conflicting diet advice, what are we actually meant to eat?
Studies have found that Omega-3, B vitamins, amino acids, and minerals including zinc and iron, are all beneficial to our mental health.
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A study published by BMC Medicine in 2015, involving more than 15,000 participants, found that adhering to a Mediterranean diet lowers ones risk of depression. Olive oil and leafy vegetables are full of vital nutrients.