Diet and Its Overlooked Role in Depression
This thesis explores the relationship between food and its impact on mood and risk of depression. Specific nutrients, food groups, and dietary patterns were examined for their impact on mood, including the risks of underconsumption and overconsumption. Potential mechanisms of how these food components may impact mood were also explored. Dietary patterns such as the Western diet and Mediterranean diet were examined for their impact on mood. Research on the influence of food on individuals diagnosed with depression as well as undiagnosed individuals was included. After reviewing the current literature, a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a decreased risk of depression, while a Western-style diet is associated with an increased risk. Diets with adequate consumption of fruits, vegetables, and micronutrients are associated with a decreased risk of depression, while excess consumption of added sugar, refined grains, saturated fat, and alcohol is associated with an increased risk of depression. The effect of certain food components on mood such as dairy and protein vary depending on content and consumption.
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