Eating the right food could even help treat depression

Illustration for article titled Eating the right food could even help treat depression
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We all know how horrible we feel after we eat too much or eat crap food or eat too much crap food. But a recent study points out that the opposite may be true: Eating the right foods could help us feel better, even helping combat with conditions like depression.

CNN reported recently on a small study at Deakin University’s Food And Mood Centre, which involved people “who were taking antidepressants and/or were in regular psychotherapy.” Of the 67 subjects, half were given a healthy diet “focusing on extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, eggs, fruits, vegetables, fatty fish and grass-fed beef,” while the other half continued to eat their typical diet.

Three months later, a significant number of the healthy diet group reported an improvement in their conditions; in fact, “32 had achieved scores so low that they no longer met criteria for depression.” CNN also offers a slideshow of specific examples of what foods can affect what conditions, like zinc in cashews that can help treat anxiety, or antioxidants in blueberries that can help reduce stress.

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Like lots of these studies indicate, the simple fact remains that eating good foods is good for you. The problem is that so many of those other foods (like Shake Shack burgers) are so delicious. But this study is a good reminder of what to keep shooting for, diet-wise, on a non-Shake Shack day.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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DISCUSSION

aurorafirestorm
AuroraFirestorm (Alcoraiden)

Eating good food is good for you. Exercise is also good for you. Neither of these will cure some people’s depression.

I’m just saying this because of how many people hear “I am on meds for depression” and go NO IF YOU JUST EAT X Y AND Z YOU WON’T HAVE TO TAKE MEDS or UGH IF YOU’D JUST WORK OUT EVERY DAY YOU’D FEEL GREAT.

No. That’s not how this works. Eating healthy stuff is part of taking care of yourself, but it won’t magically cure mental illness. It might help alleviate symptoms, or it might stop another condition altogether that is producing depression as a side effect of that condition, and for some people that’s enough, but not for everyone.