A Diet for Depression?

  • Posted on: Oct 31 2019

Food can bring comfort, but it’s not always a solution for mental health issues.

Image of caucasian woman struggling with depression while looking at a plate of food.It’s tempting to to believe self-help books and articles that say all you need to overcome depression is to eat healthier foods. While doing so will certainly help you feel better physically, a healthy diet isn’t enough on its own to prevent depression, according to two recent studies in the journal JAMA. However, a combination of medication, therapy, and dietary and exercise changes may help alleviate symptoms in those who have the mood disorder.

In one study involving more than 1,000 overweight adults with depression, daily multinutrient supplements were no more successful in preventing new episodes of depression than placebos. Similarly, people who received therapy to promote healthier eating were not much better off than those who did not receive therapy.

A Healthy Combination

In another JAMA study, however, participants with depression who received treatment that combined exercise, calorie reduction, and problem-solving therapy, as well as antidepressants as needed, experienced more improvement than people who received standard care. That study involved more than 400 adults.

If you think you might be experiencing depression, visit your primary care provider and discuss whether you might benefit from an appointment with a Summit Healthcare behavioral health consultant. Need a primary care provider? Call 928.537.6700 or 855.768.4968.

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