May 11, 2022 — Young men with poor diets reported reduced symptoms of depression when they switched to the Mediterranean diet compared to young men who underwent friendship therapy, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney observed 72 men aged 18 to 25 for 12 weeks, according to the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Some have been put on the Mediterranean diet, which typically involves eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts, healthy grains, fish, olive oil, small amounts of meat and dairy, and of red wine.
The control group received friendship therapy, in which they received social support. Assessments were taken at the start of the study and after six and 12 weeks.
According to the study, young men following the Mediterranean diet have “significantly higher” measures on the Beck Depression Inventory Scale and a measure of quality of life.
The finding suggests that physicians and psychologists should consider referring depressed young men to a nutritionist or dietician, said Jessica Bayes, principal investigator and doctoral candidate at UTS School of Health, in a statement. school press.
Bayes said the Mediterranean group’s goal is to eat more fresh foods and less fast food, sugar and processed meats.
“There are many reasons why we scientifically believe that food affects mood. For example, around 90% of serotonin, a chemical that helps us feel happy, is made in our gut by our gut microbes. There is new evidence that these microbes can communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve, in what is called the gut-brain axis,” she said.
“To get beneficial microbes, we need to feed them fiber, which is found in legumes, fruits, and vegetables.”
She said nearly all of the participants stayed with the program and planned to continue when the study ended, she said.
The Mediterranean diet is known to have many benefits, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and other conditions.