In this day and age where research surrounding health and nutrition is on the rise, I often get asked about what foods can help or hurt mental health symptoms. According to the Psychology Today, a clinical study was conducted in Australia at Deakin University and valuable nutritional information surrounding depression was discovered.
In short, they discovered that the most helpful foods to curb depressive symptoms included: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat/ unsweetened dairy, raw unsalted nuts, lean red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and olive oil. They found that these foods helped balance the neurotransmitters, hormones, and blood sugar- all which contribute to stable mental and emotional health.
The foods to stay away from included: sweets, refined cereals, fried food, fast food, processed meat. They found that these foods tend to be higher in refined carbohydrates which unbalance our blood sugar levels, hormones, and neurotransmitters. They destabilize the mood and increase cravings for more of these refined carbs. Obviously, this short blog is a highly condensed summary of the study, but it is important not to undermine the impact our diet has on our mental and emotional health. A healthy diet for depression should not be the only thing utilized to improve symptoms; going to counseling and psychotropic medication are also helpful to be used in conjunction of managing depression.
-Kimberly Presley, MSW, LCSW
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