It affects the whole body

Arguably, depression is one of the most misunderstood illnesses that affect human beings.

For a long time, you would have struggled to explain to a lot of people that it went beyond feeling a little unhappy or that it was an illness.

Over the past decade we have seen a lot of progress, through extensive re-education, in how the public is encouraged to understand and deal with depression. We were introduced to the idea that depression stems from chemical imbalances in the brain, which can be (to a greater or lesser extent) treated with appropriate medication, in the same way that other illnesses are treated.

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This week, however, a new study published in Psychosomatic medicine discovered that a healthy diet can reduce symptoms associated with depression.

The study, conducted at the University of Manchester, analyzed health data from nearly 46,000 people.

“Making healthier diets can improve people’s moods,” said Joseph Firth, honorary fellow at the University of Manchester.

So what kinds of food aid? It will come as no surprise if we say that less junk food and more vegetables are key.

“Just making simple changes is just as beneficial for mental health,” Firth said.

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“In particular, eating more nutrient-dense meals high in fiber and vegetables while reducing fast foods and refined sugars appears to be enough to avoid the potentially negative psychological effects of a ‘junk food’ diet.

The study had no clear effect on anxiety (only depression), but also found that women had “significantly greater” benefits for their symptoms of depression and anxiety when switching to healthier foods.

It’s not just your diet either. There have been several breakthroughs that demonstrate that depression is not just a disease of the brain, but a disease that affects the whole body.

In 2016, a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showed a link between depression and certain cardiovascular problems, proving that what might initially come from above, can actually manifest in different ways throughout the body.

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The international team of scientists who conducted the research found that depression causes palpable changes in oxidative stress in the body, decreasing the presence of antioxidants.

And that, therefore, people with depression may be more susceptible to other types of illnesses. Thanks to this new study, it is now suggested that depression should be reclassified as something other than a mental or psychological problem.

It goes to show that one should never underestimate the effect one’s mental state can have on our overall well-being and that everything is interconnected: mind, body and soul.

Don’t worry, because there are many ways to combat depression and anxiety, from sorting out your diet to routine and exercise.

And the study also showed that with the right treatment and drugs, the effects could be almost completely reversed, making patients virtually indistinguishable from their generally “healthy” counterparts.

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