It is scientifically proven that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest forms of nutrition. An Australian study now shows another positive effect that particularly affects young men.
As FITBOOK previously reported, a team of 27 experts from “US News & World Report” voted the Mediterranean diet (also known as the Mediterranean diet) as the healthiest diet for 2022, for the fifth time in a row. Since the experts refer to the findings of the studies, more evidence is not really needed to include more olive oil, fish, fruits and vegetables on the menu. But now an Australian study shows another positive influence that the Mediterranean diet has on health. And this mainly affects young men.
Incredible effect of healthy nutrition on the psyche.
According to the German Depression Relief Foundation, about eleven percent of women and five percent of men in Germany suffer from depression.1 Many still underestimate this disease, although it is extremely dangerous. Depression is the leading cause of suicide. And this is exactly where a healthy diet can help, as Australian researchers discovered.
The University of Technology Sydney study is the first to examine the impact of a Mediterranean diet on the mental health of young men. For this purpose, 72 men were recruited as subjects. All were between the ages of 18 and 25 and suffered from mild to severe depression. The subjects were divided into two groups: one group switched to a Mediterranean diet, while the other was treated with social therapy.two
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The Mediterranean diet appears to help against depression
To investigate the effect of nutrition on the psyche, the subjects had to perform a series of tests at the beginning, after six weeks and at the end after twelve weeks. The researchers found that subjects on the Mediterranean diet consistently had better psychological values than those who only took part in social therapy. In particular, the so-called BDI-II score, which measures depressive symptoms, improved significantly.
The explanation for this could be in the intestine. As the researchers explain in a university news release, a healthy diet can help release serotonin in the gut.3 This messenger substance is colloquially known as the happiness hormone because it has a positive effect on our mood. Serotonin is mainly produced in our intestinal flora. Dietary fiber is necessary for production to work properly. And this is exactly what the Mediterranean diet provides with a proportion of fruits, vegetables and legumes.
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Healthy intestinal flora plays an important role
“About 90 percent of serotonin, a chemical that helps us feel happy, is produced by microbes in our gut. There is new evidence that these microbes can communicate with the brain through the vagus nerve in what is known as the gut-brain axis,” explains study leader Jessica Bayes. And to feed them, we need to provide them with enough healthy fiber, found primarily in fruits, vegetables, and legumes.For example, the test persons’ diet was changed to fresh, whole foods and the consumption of highly-processed foods, such as fast food, was severely restricted.
“These results underscore the important role of diet in the treatment of depression,” say the researchers. According to them, young people in particular who suffer from depression should also receive help from a nutritionist as an important part of therapy. Because men in particular often don’t respond well to common standard treatments for depression. However, this study showed that many of them adopted the Mediterranean diet and were willing to continue it even after the study.
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The basic rules of a Mediterranean diet
- use extra virgin olive oil
- eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day
- put fish on the menu several times a week
- rarely eats red meat
- varied diet
- Do not forget about nuts and legumes.
- if it’s alcohol then red wine