Eating a variety of vegetables may improve depression

Researchers in Australia recently published a study in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, showing a connection between diet and depression

The researchers split the 85 participants into two groups:

  1. One group received
    • Food hampers and cooking workshops every 2 weeks for 3 months
    • Fish oil supplements for 6 months
  2. One group attended
    • Social groups every 2 weeks

Researchers assessed diet and mental health for participants in both groups at the 3-month mark, then again at the 6-month mark.

What they discovered was that those receiving the food hampers and cooking workshops differed from the other group in several ways:

  • Had a better overall diet
  • Consumed more
    • Vegetables
    • Fruit
    • Nuts
    • Legumes
    • Whole grains
  • Had greater vegetable diversity
  • Ate fewer unhealthy snacks
  • Ate less red meat/chicken
  • Had greater reduction in depression
  • Had improved mental health scores

These differences remained pronounced at the 6-month assessment.

The researchers determined direct correlation between improved mental health and the following participant practices:

  • Improved diet
  • Increased nut consumption
  • Greater vegetable diversity
  • Increased legume consumption
  • Increased omega-3 consumption
  • Decreased omega-6 consumption

This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.