by Dr. Christine Sauer
We all know the importance of eating right, but now there’s scientific proof that diet can be just as good as medication when it comes to treating moderate to severe depression. You could call it the depression diet!
Vegetables, Fruits and small cold-water fish are now part of a diet that’s helping to treat Susan Grant’s depression.
“It’s changed my life dramatically,” she said.
Yes! And there is good science around it. The Depression Diet really exists!
Researchers in Australia looked at whether food could improve mood.
Their study involved 67 people with moderate to severe depression. They were on antidepressants, and in psychotherapy.
Half got the Mediterranean diet, and dietary support sessions with a dietician. Half continued their unhealthy diets, and went to social support sessions.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in plant-based foods, healthy fats such as olive oil, whole grains, even an occasional glass of red wine.
After 12 weeks, the Mediterranean diet group had improvement in their depression scores. Some had so much improvement they no longer met criteria for depression.
It’s possible that the anti-inflammatory properties of these foods help, or perhaps the foods have a positive effect on the relationship between gut microbes and brain health as well as the good fats and other nutrients nourish the brain..
As a physician and health coach I focus on the connection between emotions, physical activity, and food as well as nutrients. With my own clients, I see that food and mood go hand in hand.
And the last thing I want to say to them is you have to give all that stuff up, because that’s really intimidating and really overwhelming for them at this point in their life. So to start, we just say, hey, what can we add in to your diet right now?
First you need to dig for the root causes why you are feeling down, fatigued, tired, stressed, overwhelmed or burnt-out.
Read about some possible causes why you could be tired all the time…
For boosting mood, I recommend fresh fruits and vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds as well as grass-fed meats and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.
So would diets be prescribed like medicine for depression? You may not want to give up the anti-depressants quite yet.
To be able to change your diet, you need to get better first. You may need medications for some time until you are able to change your diet for the better. And that is ok.
In Susan’s case, by cutting out fast food and eating a diet rich with fish, fruit and vegetables, she says she no longer needs to take anti-depressants.
Would you like to know more?
Dr. Christine Sauer, MD,ND(Ger), INHC, CBHC is a German-trained conventional as well as naturopathic physician, a Certified Brain and Mental Health Expert and Coach and a Certified Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach. Through her own journey from successful owner of a large practice in Germany through the abyss of mental and physical health to complete recovery she discovered her unique process to help her clients achieve lasting health and wellness. Her mission is to change the world for the better, one life at a time. Her hobbies are science, learning new things, cooking, gardening and her backyard chickens and dogs.
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