Unfortunately, more than 15 million American citizens have depression and according to estimates, 350 million people have depression on a global level. Though the reasons for depression are numerous and not clearly defined, the pharmaceutical industry has been developing antidepressants since the 50s and depressive individuals have been taking them ever since.
Estimates suggest that around 8 to 10 percent of the American population is taking antidepressants. However, these meds are highly addictive and come with numerous unpleasant side effects like higher risk of suicide and emotional numbness.
Though we cannot claim that antidepressants do not help some depressive individuals fight off the symptoms of depression, the truth is that they are in not a cure for depression.
What’s more, the number of people suffering from depression has increased in the last decades and a lot of experts believe that this is caused by a combination of different factors like poor diet, insufficient physical activity, and exposure to pollutants.
But, doctors continue recommending antidepressants over lifestyle changes to depressive individuals. According to a new study, the right lifestyle changes are the key to treating depression rather than harmful meds.
Change Your Diet, Get Rid of Depression
The study, conducted by the Australian Deakin University has found that depression can be fought off with the appropriate dietary changes. According to Professor Felice Jacka, director of Deakin’s Food and Mood Centre, they have been aware of the link between people’s diets and their risk of depression.
Healthy diets are known to lower the risk whereas unhealthy ones increase it. Nonetheless, this is the first controlled trial to test whether a better diet has the power to treat depression.
For the purposes of the study, the researchers looked at adults with depression and tested their progress from healthy diet changes during a period of three months.
The focus was on increasing their consumption of veggies, fruits, legumes, fish, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, and lean red meats while decreasing the unhealthy stuff like refined and processed foods, fast food, junk food, sugary beverages, and processed meat.
Diet is not the only lifestyle factor associated with depression, but so are inflammation and the health of the gut.
Both of these factors are heavily influenced by the type of diet we lead.
This study is without doubt a pivotal element of the growing amount of anecdotal evidence of individuals who have treated their depression by improving their diets.