As per the statistics, more than 8% of American adults aged 20 and older experience depression. Let us see how the diet we follow can impact depression and mental health.
The Gut And Brain Are Connected
Many research suggests that clinical depression might be affected by the bacteria present in our gut. As per a study that was published in Nature Microbiology, the bacteria present in our gut produces neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, and these neurotransmitters are connected to the brain, immune system and potentially influences behavior and mood.
Inflammation Is Connected To Depression
Inflammation is the fight response of our body to viruses, bacteria, and toxins. The inflammation response of our body is connected to what we eat and it is also linked to depression. For instance, the Archives of General Psychiatry had published the test results of a study that was conducted to analyze the levels of C-reactive protein in the participants. CRP is a marker of inflammation and if its level is high in the blood of a person, it is more likely for the person to be depressed and use antidepressants.
Fatty Foods Reduce The Flow Of Blood
If you have ever experienced a food coma, you have felt the effects of reduced blood flow from having fatty foods. Having saturated food items can increase the viscosity of your blood, which can reduce oxygenation of the tissues, reduce the overall blood flow and make you feel tired.
Processed Food Can Increase Depression
Processed food is harmful to mental health inferred a study conducted by the University College London and the same was also published in the British Journal of Psychology. The participants of the study were split into two groups, one that ate whole foods and the other that ate more processed food items like desserts, refined grains, processed meat, high-fat dairy items, and fried foods. In five years, people in the processed food group had a 58% more risk of depression when compared to the group that ate more whole foods.
Plant-Based Food Can Alleviate Depression
As per the details of a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, a plant-based food plan that is low in fats can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. There were two groups in the study and the group that followed vegan and a plant-based meal had reduced feelings of depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Moreover, they experienced a boost in well-being and overall productivity.