Healthy diet may help treat depression in young people, research says

In the search for treatments that help patients suffering from depression, scientists are starting to look beyond drugs and looking for simpler solutions to alleviate the classic symptoms of the disease. And the answer may lie in the food plate.

Research carried out by the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, and published in the scientific journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that changing the patient’s diet to a healthier menu, with whole foods, vegetables and fruits, fish, nuts and olive oil , can help with treatment.

Men between 18 and 25 years old participated in the study. Some of them adopted the Mediterranean diet for 12 weeks, and a “significant” improvement in symptoms of depression was noticed.

“We were surprised at how open they were to starting a new diet. This suggests that doctors and psychologists should consider referring young people with depression to a nutritionist as an important component of treatment.

Among the participants who switched diets, almost all continued with the menu even after the study ended. “This shows how effective and tolerable the intervention is, and how worthwhile it is,” says Bayes.

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nutritional psychiatry

In recent years, scientists have been studying the relationship between diet and mental health in a new branch of medicine called nutritional psychiatry.

“There are several reasons why, scientifically, we think that food affects mood. For example, about 90% of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happy, is made in the gut or by the gut’s bacteria. There is new evidence showing that these microbes can communicate with the brain via the vagal nerve,” teaches Bayes.

For the intestinal flora to be rich, with bacteria that are good for health, diet is essential — they feed on fiber, which is found in vegetables, fruits and vegetables.

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