The Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension or better known as the DASH diet has been found effective in cutting depression. It is also worth noting that the it is the top diet trend among other diets in 2018.
In one recent study, researchers say that the DASH diet is not only good for lowering blood pressure and weight loss but also effective in fighting depression.
A part of the preliminary findings in a new study1 done by researchers at Rush University Medical Center says DASH diet lowers depression risk by 11%.
The DASH diet was originally designed for reducing hypertension or blood pressure, heart health and even for weight loss. However, in this study, it seems it is helpful in cutting the risk of depression as long as one sticks to it.
This diet currently holds as the No. 1 diet among diet trends. It consists of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Moreover, the DASH diet also advocates cutting on sugary foods, which means avoiding or minimizing added sugar consumption. And, there’s a good reason for doing that as one study proves consuming a high amount of sugar causes depression.
Why Does The DASH Diet Lowers Depression?
This is not the first study that finds dietary changes and patterns beneficial for mental health. Earlier, study found that the Mediterranean diet is good for lowering the risk of depression. Many health experts call it the anti-inflammatory diet. It is also consist of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like olive oil.
Researchers say that the connection between the DASH diet and lowering risk of depression is due to the healthy foods. The healthy whole foods in the DASH diet are rich in vitamins and nutrients. In turn, consuming these types of foods provides the body and brain to produce the happy chemicals such as the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
Why This Matters?
Well, the happy chemicals or neurotransmitters affects mood. The higher the levels of these happy chemicals makes a person feel good. And, when the feeling good dominates a person’s mood, it’s obvious depression is not present.
Although the researchers note that the findings are only base on the association, it is promising. Hopefully, people will start making dietary changes such as changing their eating habits. Instead of consuming highly processed foods, increasing whole foods intake should be a priority.
Furthermore, researchers suggest that future studies should be conducted in order to confirm and determine the best nutritional components in the DASH diet for depression prevention. This is a valuable information that people can take action starting today as there are no side effects eating the right kinds of foods.
The only side effect of eating clean and healthy by increasing whole foods intake is better health. As always, you should prefer organic produce. But even if you’re buying organic, make sure you wash them appropriately to remove harmful chemical residues.