Further to my article about Happy Foods, I am continuing along that theme. Recent research has shown that a Mediterranean diet can help beat depression. A study showed that it is a more effective treatment for clinical depression than social support.
Over a three month period a group of patients who had been diagnosed with clinical depression ate a Mediterranean style diet and avoided sweets, fast food and refined cereals.
At the end of the three month period, these patients experienced a greater reduction in their symptoms compared with the group of patients who just received social support. Interestingly a third of the patients who were eating the Mediterranean diet met the criteria for remission. Only 8% of the group receiving social support met the same criteria.
What is a Mediterranean diet?
It is a diet based on the eating habits of inhabitants of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece and has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
It is rich in the following foods:
- Lean red meat
- Olive oil
The study stresses that it shouldn’t replace traditional treatments for depression but it is a great addition and it goes to show the importance of a healthy Mediterranean diet for both physical and mental wellbeing.