One in five Australians will experience a mental health condition each year. And while solutions are tricky because each individual reacts differently, a new study supports the idea that diet could be used to ease depression.
New Research in the US found that participants following a high fibre diet while avoiding unhealthy foods were 11 per cent less likely to experience depression.
Spanning six years, the report followed 1000 people aged, on average, at 81 years old, recording their mood and diet. Throughout the study, scientists observed signs of depression. Tracking their diet, researchers discovered that individuals who stuck to low-fat foods closely were less likely to develop depression. In comparison, partakers whose diets were high in saturated fats and red meats while low in fibre were more prone to symptoms of depression.
“Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke,” says study author Dr. Laurel Cherian from the Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago.
“Making a lifestyle change such as changing your diet is often preferred over taking medications, so we wanted to see if diet could be an effective way to reduce the risk of depression,” adds Dr. Cherian.
“Future studies are now needed to confirm these results and to determine the best nutritional components of the DASH (Dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet to prevent depression later in life and to best help people keep their brains health.”
If depression is affecting your life or you need someone to talk to, please do not suffer in silence. Support is available here.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
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Beyondblue: 1300 224 636