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How Your Diet can Influence Depression
Written by Dr. Christine Sauer on May 6th, 2018
We all know the importance of eating right, but now there’s scientific proof that diet can be just as good as medication when it comes to treating even moderate to severe depression.
Whole Foods are part of a diet that’s helping to treat Susan’s depression. (one of my clients, name changed for privacy reasons).
“It’s changed my life dramatically,” she said.
Can people struggling with depression get better with diet? Researchers worldwide are looking more and more at the role food plays in our mood.

In one study half got the Mediterranean diet and dietary support sessions with a dietician. Half continued their unhealthy diets, and went to social support sessions only.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in plant-based foods, healthy fats such as olive oil, whole grains, fish, even an occasional glass of red wine.
After 12 weeks, the Mediterranean diet group had much improved. Some had so much improvement that they were no longer counted as depressed...

What makes all the difference?

In my opinion one of the most important foods for our brain are good fats (see below)
These supply the brain, one of our organs with the highest fat content, as well as one of the highest demands for nutrients and energy.

The mediterranean diet - as well as other whole-food-diets, ideally supplies most of these needs as well as is anti-inflammatory and the high vegetable (and fruit) content has a positive effect on the gut microbiome and as such on the gut-brain connection.

As a physician and health coach I focus on the connection between emotions, physical activity, physical health, medications, supplements and food as well as nutrient balance and toxin avoidance (as far as possible). With my own clients, I see that food and mood often go hand in hand.

And the last thing I want to tell them when they are still really depressed is that they have to give up all the foods they loved to eat... 
That would be very intimidating and overwhelming for them at this point in their life. So, to start, we just suggest to add one item at a time to their diet right now.

For boosting mood, I recommend fresh fruits and vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds as well as grass-fed meats and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.

So will a diet be prescribed like medicine for depression?

We are not there yet, but I often see - if a client is willing to give it a try - that small changes in diet, targeted supplementation and small incremental lifestyle changes work just as well if not better as medication without negative side effects.

But to be able to change your diet, you need to get better first. You may need medications for some time until you are able to change your diet for the better. 
And that is ok.

Certain targeted supplements and herbs can also help to improve your mood. and may be used instead of medication in mild to moderate depression or in conjunction in severe depression.

In Susan’s case, by cutting out fast food and eating a diet rich with fish, fruit and vegetables, she says she no longer needs to take anti-depressants.

Would you like to know more about how your diet affects your mood?

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About TheDepressionExpert
The Mission of TheDepressionExpert is
- to change people's lives for the better 
- to show them the light at the end of the tunnel
- to give them hope that there IS help! - that there is hope and help in spite of mental illness
- to give people helpful information, resources and tips to overcome or alleviate mental illness

About DocChristine

Dr. Christine Sauer became The Depression Expert after struggling with Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks herself and overcoming it through investing her own time, money and education to develop her unique methods to help her clients to achieve the same! Learn more HERE
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