Rates of anxiety and depression continue to rise throughout the United States, as the national average has climbed to nearly 20% of the adult population currently experiencing at least a mild issue with their mental health.
Many people are pointing at the pandemic as the main reason why this rate continues to climb, but the fact of the matter is that the rates of reported depression among adults have been climbing steadily for years, even despite an “astounding increase in antidepressant use by Americans,” according to Harvard Medical School.
So what else could be causing the mental health dilemma in this country? Well, as the old adage goes, you are what you eat, and most Americans are eating a diet that directly contributes to an increased risk of depression.
Many scientific studies have been done to explore the link between our diet and our mental health. The Journal of Nutrition published a study in 2019 that found that a pro-inflammatory diet was directly associated with a higher risk of depression, while a separate study (published in 2020) found that:
- Diet has a “significant effect on preventing and treating depression”
- Processed food intake should be excluded or severely limited,