Australian researchers recently published a study in Nutritional Neuroscience showing that nutritional intervention can have a more positive effect on depression than social support.
The researchers conducted a 12-week trial for over 60 participants, who were randomly assigned to one of two groups: diet intervention or social support. Roughly 80% of the participants were already being treated for depression (psychotherapy, medication, or both).
Those in the diet intervention groups received counselling sessions, recipes, and food samples for the following key food groups:
- Whole grains
- Lean red meats
They were also discouraged from eating sweets, fast food, and sugary drinks.
Those in the social support group, on the other hand, participated in befriending sessions for the first 4 weeks, then every other week for the remaining 8 weeks.
What the researchers discovered was that while about 32% of the dietary intervention group who followed the dietary guidelines experienced a remission of their major depression symptoms, only 8% of the social support group did.
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