Nutrition education may improve depression

In December 2018, researchers in Japan published a study in the European Journal of Nutrition, showing a connection between learning about nutrition and mental health (as well as other health metrics).

The researchers randomly assigned the 44 participants into one of two groups: one group that learned about nutrition and a control group. All participants were women 40 years old or older.

Every 2 weeks during the 8-week the trial, participants in the education group received a 20-minute dietary lecture and a 10-minute counselling session by registered dieticians. Plus, researchers measures their body weight, height, waist circumference, food frequency, and gut microbiota composition, as well as scored their self-rated health and several psychological factors.

What the researchers found was that after the 8 weeks, those in the intervention group had increased their dietary fibre intake and how frequently they consumed vegetables and dairy products, more so than the control group did. As well, they lowered their body weight, BMI, and waist circumference more than the control group. Finally, they improved their depression scores, self-rated health, and microbiome diversity more than the control group.

All because someone taught them proper nutrition and gave them some personal tips. It’s amazing how a little education can make a big difference!

This is one more study in a growing body of research showing a connection between what we eat and our mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.