In 2018, at the meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Los Angeles, a new study was presented, confirming that people who have a daily diet of vegetables, fruits and whole grains have significantly lower rates of depression than others.
With the onset of autumn, the theme of apathy and spleen is especially relevant. However, recent research by scientists suggests that our mood directly depends on what we eat. As a result, for example, after having a snack on fast food on the go, we suddenly want to be sad and the energy drops to zero, despite the fact that it was delicious. But after lunch from baked vegetables, on the contrary, I want to turn mountains and save the world.
We decided to figure out how intestinal health can affect our brain and what we need to eat in order not to leave depression and a bad mood no chance.
A New Field of Study – Food Psychiatry
In 2017, Australian scientists conducted an experiment in which 67 people with depression participated. Some patients have already been treated with antidepressants, the second with psychotherapy, and the third with complex methods of both. Half of those observed were offered healthy foods high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and red meat, while others received social support – a constant conversationalist with whom to chat, share experiences, or simply play cards.
After 12 weeks of the experiment, in patients who changed their diet in favor of a healthy one, their mood significantly improved – unlike those who received social support.
How does the intestine regulate mood?
The famous American neurologist and nutritionist David Perlmutter in his book “Intestine and Brain” expands on the topic of the relationship between intestinal microflora and mood. In his opinion, the relationship between overweight and the presence of depression is absolutely natural, since the cause of depression is inflammation, which occurs due to imbalance of bacteria in the intestines.
As confirmation, he gives an example of a weakening of immunity, when the body does not receive important substances. This happens when the bacterial balance of the intestine is disturbed, which controls the state of our immune system.
What is part of an antidepressant diet?
As an antidepressant diet, David Perlmutter offers a well-defined diet. It is based on vegetables enriched with fibers and carbohydrates: zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots; healthy fats found in fish, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds; foods rich in probiotics: kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers – they replenish the supply of beneficial bacteria in our intestines.
Among the preferred foods are soups prepared on the basis of red meat broth on the bone, and spices, the leader among which is turmeric, which improves digestion.
What foods spoil the mood?
Limit the diet David Perlmutter offers primarily gluten and fructose. Gluten gluten, according to Perlmutter, prevents the breakdown of food, which leads to poor digestion and provokes a reaction of the immune system.
Many patients may not have such obvious symptoms of problems with the digestive tract, but other systems and organs of their body, such as the nervous system, may undergo a “silent attack,” the expert believes.
And the huge amount of fructose that a modern person consumes, the body is not yet able to successfully digest. The benefit, according to the author of the methodology, is brought only by seasonal fruits. He recommends completely eliminating fruit juices that contain extremely high doses of sugar.
6 principles of antidepressant diet
According to David Perlmutter, the transition to such a diet will show quick results for those who previously ate fast food and sweets, but if the food was about the same, then it will take a little more time.
To test the effectiveness of this method, 6 principles must be followed.
- Choose foods high in probiotics.
- Choose foods that are low in carbohydrates and high quality fats.
- Enjoy wine, tea, coffee and chocolate.
- Choose foods rich in prebiotics.
- Drink filtered water.
- Arrange fasting days regularly.