A diet of fast food, cakes and processed meat increases your risk of depression, say researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK.
A leading cause of ill health and disability, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide are now living with depression. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of people suffering from the condition increased by more than 18 percent.
As junk foods are invariably low in essential micronutrients, the first step for anyone diagnosed with depressive disorders should be to ensure they are eating a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Illustrating the benefits of such diets, numerous studies now show that micronutrients are effective in helping to combat depression.
A meta-analysis published in 2016 looked at 13 studies involving 1,233 participants and found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce symptoms of even major depressive disorder.
Other research has found evidence linking a deficiency of B vitamins with depression. A scientific review published in 2017 noted that low levels of B vitamins are common in the condition and that supplementation with these nutrients has been shown to improve depression outcomes.
Similarly, a clinical trial published in 2017 showed that magnesium supplements are effective in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. Finding that daily supplementation with magnesium leads to a significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms, and that it works quickly and is well tolerated, the study concluded that magnesium may be a safe over-the-counter alternative to antidepressant drugs.
To read about research showing how a vitamin-rich Mediterranean-style diet may help prevent depression, read this article on our website.