Yes, you can eat yourself happy

The latest science is proving that a healthy diet isn’t only better for you, it’s a mood booster, too. But even the researchers are surprised with the results.

Professor Felice Jacka of the Deakin University found that women who consumed a diet of mostly vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and wholegrain foods were 35% less likely to experience major depression and 32% less likely to experience anxiety disorders than women who consumed a typical Western diet (processed or fried foods, refined grains, sugary products and alcohol).

Her 2017 SMILES trial. showed that the group who followed a modified Mediterranean diet for three months had reduced their depressive symptoms to the point where one-third met the criteria for remission compared to only eight per cent of the group that made no changes to their diets but were given social support.

The gut-mind connection

One of the major keys to understanding the food-mood link is in the gut microbiome — the rainforest-like ecosystem in your gastrointestinal tract where good and bad bacteria reside. Research into this area is still quite new, but many studies show a link between the amount and diversity (or lack thereof) of certain bacteria and depression.

A 2019 Belgian study found that people who had been diagnosed with depression were low in two bacteria — coprococcus and dialister. Interestingly, these were found in abundance in people who reported a high quality of life.

Small amounts of red meat — three palm-sized serves a week — are associated with good mental health, too. Prof Jacka advises those on a plant-based diet to make sure you’re getting enough zinc, iron, protein and B group vitamins. “You have to be careful not to miss out on those important nutrients.”Source :