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Healthy Diet Can Combat Symptoms of Depression, Study Finds

A healthy diet is an undividable aspect of life. A new study from scientists at Macquarie University, Australia, reveals an unconcerned link between diet and depression. So opting for a healthy diet may assist people struggling to come up from the depths of depression. Notably, the method may offer benefits within a month. During the trial, scientists have analyzed more than 70 depressed college-going teens who munched on processed foods, saturated fats, and sugar. Heather Francis, from Macquarie University, Australia, has led the study published in the journal PLOS One on Wednesday. Francis says depressed young adults, who usually have an unhealthy diet, have experienced less depression after opting for a healthy diet for 21 days.

As per the author, youngsters in the trial who mostly consumed veggies and fruits have shown the greatest improvements. Whereas, those who did not change their eating habits had no impact on depression. In the beginning, all candidates were asked to fill a question bank regarding their food intake and mood. They scaled almost all high, i.e., seven or more on the scale of anxiety, depression, and stress. After that, the scientists had divided volunteers into two categories – diet change and regular diet.

Notably, volunteers from both groups had antidepressants throughout the trial. Besides, one group was asked to slash processed meats, sugary drinks, fatty or processed foods, and sugar. Francis noted that highly processed foods might increase irritation, which one of the depressions risk factors. Thus people in the diet change group were asked to have five servings of veggies, fruit slices, olive oil, wholegrain cereals, eggs, tofu, etc.

After three weeks, participants who opted for a healthy diet saw a notable fall in depression, from 7.2 to 4.4. Even more, their stress levels plunge from 7.7 to 4.8, along with anxiety levels decline from 6.3 to 3.4. The authors noted, altering the diet to cut off processed food consumption and raise the intake of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, fish enhanced depression symptoms in teens. The team notes these proceedings broaden expanding literature, revealing a small change to diet is a useful adjunct remedy to lessen depression symptoms.