Mediterranean Diet Beat Depression, Fad diets come and go, but some eating regimens endure throughout time because of their validated advantages. One of them is the Mediterranean eating plan. Heart disease was originally discovered to be far less prevalent in Mediterranean nations than it was in the US in the 1950s. The diet is still one of the most frequently advised diets by medical professionals. Because of the connection between this fact and eating habits.
The Mediterranean diet, which is well known for its heart-healthy qualities, emphasizes plant-based foods while reducing red meat and sweets. While the benefits to physical health are obvious. A recent study indicates that there might also be benefits to mental health.
Mediterranean Diet Beat Depression, The foods that make up the Mediterranean diet are popular in nations that border the Mediterranean Sea, like Greece and Italy. It consists primarily of plant-based foods. Such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, with small amounts of dairy, fish, and chicken. Olive oil is the primary added fat source, and red meat and sweets are only seldom consumed.
Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits gives the body access to a wealth of gut-nourishing, inflammation-reducing fiber as well as a variety of nutrients that improve brain function.
The Mediterranean diet’s benefits for heart health are well recognized. But it is also starting to become obvious that it has advantages for mental health as well. A diet that is good for the brain should also include colorful plant foods and the heart-healthy fats found in the Mediterranean diet. According to Uma Naidoo, MD, a nutritional psychiatrist and author of “This Is Your Brain on Food.”
According to Naidoo, eating a variety of vegetables and berries gives the body access to a wealth of crucial macro, micro, and phytonutrients that improve brain function. As well as fiber that supports the gut and reduces inflammation. Likewise, “healthy fats work as a potent anti- inflammatory component in the brain to help it withstand the debilitating effects of exposure to pollutants, age, and free radicals and thereby maintain healthy tissue.”
Acc ording to a recent Australian study
These brain-boosting claims have evidence from recent research. According to a recent Australian study, young men who followed this diet pattern experienced fewer depressive symptoms.
72 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 25 were split into two groups for the 12-week randomized experiment. One group adhered to the Mediterranean diet while the other got counseling and served as the control group. The results, which were reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that when compared to the control group. The Mediterranean diet-following group exhibited a significant improvement in depression symptoms.
Jessica Bayes, the study’s principal investigator and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Technology Sydney, is enthusiastic about the potential of nutritional psychology. As an emerging area because she has always been interested in mental health.
We all have the ability to focus on and improve something as simple as what we eat. She argues that this could have a significant impact on our mental health. Even if you have very severe depressive symptoms. Opting to eat a Mediterranean-style diet may have a significant impact on your mental health, energy, sleep, and attention.
Adjusting Your Diet
Bayes advises concentrating on one small change at a time. Because she is aware that changing one’s diet can feel daunting. You can start a good chain reaction by buying whole-grain bread or including more vegetables in your supper menu.
According to Bayes, all of these little adjustments will build up over time. “It’s simpler to stay engaged once you start to notice the benefits to your mental health.”
Even something as basic as what we eat has the potential to have a significant impact on our mental health and is something we can all seek to improve.
Study Author JESSICA Bayes Says
Naidoo suggests another simple substitution: using extra-virgin or expeller-pressed olive, avocado, or coconut oil in place of processed vegetable or seed oils.
Lean toward legumes, advises Naidoo. “I’d advise boosting the color and variety of fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet. Since this improves the diversity of the gut microorganisms, which are essential to our mental health.”
It’s not feasible for everyone to try to completely change their diet at once. Your likelihood of sticking with this new eating strategy and benefiting from its positive effects on mental health is increased by beginning with tiny steps and gradually adding additional Mediterranean diet components.
What This Means For You
Increasing the amount of plant-based foods and healthy fats in daily meals can be a significant step toward having a healthier mind and body because the Mediterranean diet has been connected to both physical and mental health advantages.