Can What You Eat Improve Depression Symptoms?
Depression is different than a passing case of the blues. It’s a condition that affects both body and mind, that can cause persistent low mood, aches and pain, sleep and appetite disruptions, and fatigue. It’s strikingly common—more than 16 million American adults are diagnosed with major depressive disorder in any given year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American. And in the COVID-19 era, it’s becoming even more common. A recent study found that the prevalence of depression symptoms has increased threefold thanks to the pandemic.
The good news is: Depression is treatable. If you experience symptoms, start by talking to your doctor about your moods. He or she can talk you about the variety of treatment options to help improve your mood. A potential supplement to treatment can be found in the emerging field of nutritional psychology, which highlights the overlooked connection between diet and mood.
“The new understanding is that food affects your mood and what you eat is highly connected to how your brain is going to function,” says Eva Selhub, M.D., an integrative medicine physician and author. Here’s what current research, and the experts, suggest about how to boost your mood with what is (or isn’t) on the end of your fork.