Food, Mood and Cognition

foodWe recently got a useful update on this topic from one of the clinicians who works with us at Gateway Psychiatric. She had attended a seminary of the same title from the Institute for Natural Resources.

Inflammation can be associated with poor diet for example, high consumption of sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup and high saturated fat intake.

Chronic inflammation is, in turn, associated with an increased risk of depression and dementia. High consumers of fast food were found in one study to be 51% more likely to experience depression.

In the short run, sugars and fatty acids may reduce depression and anxiety, but in the long run they lead to an increased risk.

What are foods that reduce inflammation? Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, grains, olive oil (not butter), Vitamin D (have your doctor check your level, too much supplementation can be detrimental).

The Mediterranean Diet has been associated with significantly lower rates of depression and dementia. This includes limiting red meat to no more than 3x/month and eating fish or poultry 2x/week.