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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (
Subject:         Re: Diet and Depression
Date: January 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm PST

In Reply to: Diet and Depression posted by Tim on January 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm:

Hi Tim

Exercise is one of the best "lifestyle" approaches to deal with depressions.There is a significant amount of evidence supporting the benefit of exercise for depression.

Also, Dr. Judith Wurtman, who is a clinical researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the director of the Women’s Health Program at the MIT Clinical Research Center, has studied the link between diet, emotions, and the brain, and have found that fiber-rich, complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are essential for good mood and optimal mental health.

Wurtman, R. J., and J. J. Wurtman. "Carbohydrates and Depression." Scientific American 1 (1989): 68-75.

Fernstrom, J.D., and Wurtman, R.J. Brain serotonin content: Increase following ingestion of carbohydrate diet. Science, 174:1023-1025, 1971

Also, in a recent survey of 200 people in Great Britain, 88% reported that changing their diet improved their mental health significantly.

The foods most likely to alleviate mood swings, anxiety, and depression included

1) fruits and vegetables,

2) essential fats (omega 3s)

3) whole grains,

4) fiber.

5) Eating regularly and not skipping breakfast also boosted mental health.

IN addition, food “stressors” – those foods that negatively affected mood – included...

1) sugar,

2) caffeine,

3) alcohol,

4) gluten,

5) foods rich in saturated fat, such as meat, chocolate, and full-fat dairy products.

In Health

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