How Eating a Poor Diet Makes Us Feel Depressed
Recent studies have found that eating unhealthy foods, especially those high in sugar and fat, contribute directly to the biological and emotional states associated with depression.
Scientists are finding that when it comes to nutrition, the mind and body are linked far more intimately than previously believed. Recent studies have found that eating unhealthy foods, especially those high in sugar and fat, contribute directly to the biological and emotional states associated with depression. When we eat poorly, our body understands a lack of nutrients to be the consequence of a disease. In response, it releases proteins that attempt to combat the perceived intruder and cause subtle inflammation (similar to the swelling of a healing wound).
One study focused on a southern European population that slowly transitioned from the Mediterranean diet--rich in oils, vegetables, and nuts--to a western diet containing more sugar and fat.
It found that "those who lived almost exclusively on the traditional Mediterranean diet were about half as likely to develop depression over the period as those eating more unhealthy food – even when you control for things like education and economic status."
Many initiatives are currently underway to treat depression with healthier diets, including a trial program by the Defense Department that delivers nutrient rich foods to soldiers diagnosed with PTSD. In other cases, eating a healthy diet has proved to be an effective preventative measure against developing depression--as effective as preventative mental health counseling!
In his Big Think interview, fiction writer and animals rights advocate Jonathan Safran Foer explains that the environmental cost of one fast-food hamburger is $500, even though we may only pay $5 cash for it.
Read more at BBC Future
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A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.
- A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
- Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
- The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
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