And one of the newest food trends
There are foods that scientists think we should be consuming to help combat depression which now affects over 300 million people worldwide, and some groups may be more at-risk than others — in the United States alone, 3.2 million of teenagers between the age of 12 and 17 experience depressive episodes. And these numbers are on the rise.
“Everyone, every medical provider, should be talking about food. It is such an important part of our daily life and our health,” Samantha Elkrief, a therapist and health coach, told Inverse in an interview.
The findings of a comprehensive 2019 analysis of 15 studies, including more than 45,000 participants suggest that diet does reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
So what foods are good for fighting depression? Consuming more foods with high nutrient counts, such as fruit and vegetables, fish, and whole grains. A study of over 10,000 Spanish students found that the Mediterranean diet (which includes vegetables, fruit and nuts, cereal, legumes, and fish) may reduce risk of depression. The Mediterranean diet may also help fight off various brain diseases. The findings were corroborated by similar studies on diets in Japan, Norway and China.
They identified 12 antidepressant nutrients among 34 essential nutrients, including iron, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamins A, B, C, and zinc.
Foods with the highest levels of these nutrients scored highest on the antidepressant food score. Here are the top ten in both plant based foods and animal based foods:
ANTIDEPRESSANT PLANT FOODS
ANTIDEPRESSANT ANIMAL FOODS
Not surprisingly, the plant based foods had on average much higher levels of these nutrients.