Young adults with depression may experience improvements following a brief dietary intervention, according to a small, randomized trial in PLOS One.
This study examined for the first time whether a brief diet intervention could improve depression symptoms in young adults. In Australia, roughly 100 young adults (aged 17 to 35) with moderate-to-severe depression symptoms and poor diet were randomized to a dietary intervention or their usual diet. Participants in the intervention group were instructed to reduce their intake of processed foods and increase their intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy proteins, unsweetened dairy, olive oil, turmeric, and cinnamon.
At 21 days, the intervention group had lower depression scores than the control group after controlling for baseline scores. Anxiety and stress scores also favored the intervention group.
The authors conclude: “The current intervention involved such a small degree of face-to-face contact and very little cost or risk, thus there are few downsides to adopting this approach to improving mood. Conversely, there is a lot to gain not just in terms of improvements to mood but also in enhanced physical health outcomes.”
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Source: NEJM Journal Watch