Did you know the foods we eat can impact our mood?
The Food-Mood connection got a major boost to it’s reputation with recent completion of the ‘SMILES’ trial, an acronym for ‘Supporting the Modification of Lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States’.
Researchers wanted to see whether a modified Mediterranean style diet (termed the ModiMedDiet) could improve depression scores over just a few short months as compared to a ‘social support’ control group.
Here’s what the study participants ate over 12 weeks:
- Based off of a traditional Mediterranean diet, designed using the Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece and Mediterranean diet principles from PREDIMED
- Whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods with ‘extras’ (sweets, processed meats, cereals) limited to less than three times per week
- Daily: Nuts, leafy greens, tomatoes, olive oil and diary
- Moderately throughout the week: fatty fish, legumes, lean red meat
So what happened?
A 24.3% high rate of remission (relief) from depressive symptoms with the modified Mediterranean diet
(Remission was defined as a Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale (MADRS) of <10).
The bottom line – more plants in the diet can be a helpful aid in supporting the microbiome & boosting our mood!
Mood Supporting Foods
|Green leafy vegetables||Kale, Microgreens, Collard Greens, Spinach, Cabbage, Beet Greens, Watercress, Romaine Lettuce|
|Other Vegetables||Other Colorful Vegetables(see Phytonutrient Spectrum Foods attached)|
|Nuts||Any kind. Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews, etc.|
|Berries||Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries|
|Beans||Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils|
|Whole Grains||Oatmeal, Quinoa, Brown rice|
|Wild caught Fish||Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna and mackerel|
|Omega 3 Rich Foods (Non-fish, Vegan options)||Flax, Walnuts|
|Olive Oil: Use as your main oil||Look for olive oil with a high polyphenol content|
|Raw Cacoa||Unprocessed cocoa is called Raw cacoa and is a great source of fiber and minerals|