According to the CDC, 8% of American adults suffered from depression in a given two-week period from 2013 to 2016. Symptoms may include changes in appetite and sleep, trouble concentrating, feeling sad or anxious, and decreased interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Treating depression is challenging, as drugs are only effective in one-third of cases. However, new studies show that what you eat impacts your mental health - not just your physical health.
A recent study done at Ohio State University found that a diet low in saturated fat, sugar, and processed foods can reduce the risk of depression by 24 percent over a 12-year period. The research team went as far as to suggest that dietary advice should form part of mental health treatment. “This is a nicely done systematic review,” said Mary Fristad, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral health, psychology, and nutrition at The Ohio State University. It’s important to note that the diet included moderate alcohol consumption - as excessive amounts can act as a depressant.