A 2017 study at Deakin University in Australia suggests a direct link between a healthy diet and recovery from major depression.
A CBS New York video released this week mentioned the Deakin University study and one other Australian study related to diet and depression while featuring former Columbia University Medical Librarian William Jiang, who has authored over 60 books and advocates for natural mental health. Jiang is diagnosed with schizophrenia and tells his story of healing and recovery in the book, A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope. Jiang also wrote the Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies.
Diet for Major Depressive Disorder?
It should be noted that the Australian studies showed significant improvement (and total remission of depression in 33% of participants) in those formally diagnosed with major depressive disorder when following the Mediterranean Diet, which is rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, healthy oils, and legumes. This diet even allows for an occasional glass of red wine (not to be mixed with medication. All dietary changes to treat depression should be made under the supervision of a qualified doctor). Participants followed the diet for three months, with those in the dietary intervention group showing significantly greater improvements across the board.
“Both trials were really excellent studies,” Psychiatrist Dr. Drew Ramsey reported to CBS. “They were large, they followed patients over a number of months. They really detailed their statistical methodology. It’s very exciting to think about how we can use this data to shift public policy,” Dr. Ramsey said.
Ramsey, a psychiatrist who recently launched the e-course Eat to Beat Depression, has hopes of getting the FDA’s attention. He foresees a day when doctors will do more than prescribe medication but will prescribe diets for depression that have been proven, as the Mediterranean Diet has, to alleviate symptoms and restore health.
This may be what healthy dietary changes have over pharmaceutical intervention. Healthy diets are generally restorative. The right diet may not only alleviate symptoms of depression but also restore energy, lower cholesterol, promote weight loss, and lead to better sleep and a clearer mind.
Read more about the Deakin University study here.