Baku, February 15, AZERTAC
An improved diet can help boost people's moods and reduce symptoms of mild depression, a study has found, according to ABC News.
Researchers analysed clinical trials of nearly 46,000 people who changed their diet to deal with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
"Just making core basic changes... like reducing junk food intake," lead researcher Dr Joseph Firth from Western Sydney University told Hack.
The study found many kinds of healthy diets improved depression, from weight loss to nutrient boosting to fat reduction diets.
"We took a bit of a close look at the data and interestingly found there was no significant differences in the types of diets used," Dr Firth said.
"Weight loss diets were just as effective as nutrient boosting diets.
"This suggests that extreme diets are unnecessary for mental health, just making the core basic changes will work."
Previous studies have shown that exercise has a protective effect against depression, but Dr Firth said this is the first evidence showing improving your diet can also improve your mental health.
The average Australian consumes 19 serves of junk food a week, and far fewer serves of fibre-rich fresh food and whole grains than recommended.
Around 300 million people live with depression worldwide and there's been little research into treating depression with methods other than medication and talking to a therapist.
The study found a healthy diet had no effect on symptoms of anxiety.
It also showed diet was more likely to lower depression in women than in men.
"We saw a bigger affect in women, females respond much better to dietary intervention in terms of mental health outcomes," Dr Firth said.
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