Depression: Can the right food, help mood?

Depression: Can the right food, help mood?   Depression is common mental health condition. As part of National Depression awareness week premier women’s health channel healthista published an article on this topic too. Helping to raise awareness around this condition that according to Mind affects 1 in 4 of us. Check it out here   “Eat more fat and meat and you might help lift that low mood” It almost sounds too good to be true right?   But these are just some of the findings that came from the latest ‘SMILES’ research from the University of Deakin, Australia. You can download the full paper here Low Mood and Diet – What’s the evidence to date?   There is now extensive observational evidence across countries and age groups supporting  diet quality as a possible risk or protective factor for depression. Unlike much other previous research looking at mental health and the effects of diet, the emphasis is on diet patterns and quality rather than individual nutrients per-say. There are some exceptions that I’ve outlined later. This is different from previous years where individual nutrients such as vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium etc. have shown to have an impact on mental health This is exactly my approach to managing patients with mental health concerns such as depression or symptoms of low mood in my functional dietetics clinic. You can find out more about my approach to nutrition treatment here.   Is there a Depression-Dysbiosis link?      Image courtesy of Cryan et al. (2012)   Cryan and colleagues did a nice summary of the mechanistic pathways involved in the gut-brain axis in Nature 4 years ago. Essentially, there is a dual relationship between brain health and gut health.  We also know that the gastrointestinal tract communicates with the brain via the ‘gut-brain axis’; this is a the neural efferent pathway interface between the gut and the brain that seems to be modulated by the bacteria living in our gut (microbiota). For a superb and comprehensive (and open access!) review on this topic, make sure you read this paper by Foster and […]

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