The relationship between diet and mood is one impossible to discount.
Research, including studies conducted by Harvard Medical School, has found a significant link between “what one eats and our risk of depression”.
An article published by Monique Tello, MD, on Harvard Health Publishing, states that a dietary pattern, “characterised by a high consumption of red and/or processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, and high-fat gravy, and low intakes of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression.”
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So, if one is in the throes of depression, is there a diet that could potentially help?
According to a new line of research published by Rush University, there certainly is; and it’s called the DASH diet.
Developed by the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, largely low-fat and nonfat dairy, and focuses on grains, nuts, lean meats, fish and healthy fats.
The meal plan incorporates protein in every meal and snack, and lots of filling but low kilojoule foods.
Examples include, light yogurt, a chicken waldorf salad, baked potatoes, a whole wheat English muffin, minestrone soup, almonds, nectarines, grilled salmon and Italian bread dipped in olive oil.
At this point, the recent study has not been peer-reviewed, however, the benefits on the DASH diet have been proven time and time again.
In a recent feature by The Atlantic, Olga Khazan summarises the new research as suggesting: “An unhealthy diet might make us depressed, and depression, in turn, makes us feel even sicker.”
Interestingly, the DASH diet appears to be particularly effective among adolescent girls living with depression, and less effective in older patients.