Diet and depression: what you eat impacts your mood

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They think our micro fauna in the gut affects a whole host of things, including your brain and depression.

Maybe in the future we will have custom built fauna gardens to consume and set up in our guts.


Eat chickpeas. Be happy. Seriously, this works for me. Pass the hummus.


Processed foods have been shown to directly impact the gut microbiome variety. I eat like a trash panda but i have been trying to make an effort to eat less processed foods, i also regularly drink a meal replacement shake for dinner which has helped immensely with watching my weight but i do wonder if that can also negatively affect my gut.

On the plus side i have been much less depressed and anxious than in previous years, my improved eating might’ve helped though i think the biggest factor for me has been more stability when it comes to money. Though i know there’s more i need to do like being more active and sticking to eating vegetarian more regularly (i tend to cheat a lot throughout the week).


Has anyone else tried these edible THC gummies/cookies/candies? They’re working miracles on me…


I tried a half-gummy while visiting friends in NM a few months ago, and agree wholeheartedly. I know THC effects different people differently, but low doses work wonders for me. It’s been a while, though. Thanks for the reminder!


I’d love to, even the CBD stuff would be up my alley but because of the nature of my work i would not be able to even if it were to become legal in my state.


Sorry didn’t read it but it seems pretty placeboee. Double blind? So did the two groups not know what they were eating? So you’re saying that one group eats the same food they’ve always been eating and the other group eats all new high quality food and the second group feels happier? Amazing.

Dietary stuff is pretty hard to research.



I don’t think the study has stable foundations…
The participants were given questionaires for self reporting. They also knew what the study was for. Also, the control group (with the unchanged diet) were contacted fewer times than the “healthy diet” group.
The participants were undergrad students with mild anxiety and depression symptoms.
I think it’s possible their mood improved on the healthier diet beacuse they felt that someone cares about them.
Authors of the paper put in 3 fat paragraphs about the limitations of the study.
They also mention brand names for some of the foods, at the same time they do not disclose where the funding comes from. Looks like advertising for me.
So, hmmmmmmm…


Anecdotal evidence from myself and a few friends and family that I have convinced to eliminate processed foods shows that it helps physically and mentally.

Now, the Mediterranean-type diets? I can’t eat tomatoes, onions, peppers… the only thing left is eggplant and olive oil! :woman_shrugging:


Breakfast, July 27th.

Unfortunately, wild blackberry season and cheap Ranier cherry season are both over, so I’m down to a banana, grapes, and an orange.


Possibly, i find that a lot of diet related research gets easily overblown and any positive effects are usually not that significant or it is positive but not in the way it gets interpreted/reported.

That said, anecdotally, when i was eating strictly vegetarian i did notice a difference in how my body digested food. When i ate more processed foods, especially ones with animal protein i felt different… in my case i was usually more sluggish, tired, and would not feel great for a day or two. Obviously that’s just my experience and is not a proper study but i do think there’s something to changing one’s diet to feel better. Even if this particular study is flawed i think it’s a good goal to eat healthier, problems start to arise when fad diets pop up that heavily restrict what people can eat based on shaky science and can cause health problems and/or cost people a lot of money over something that’s not helping them in the long run.


And cheese!

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Slightly better, but I will get tired of eggplant parmigiana really soon.

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I used to suffer from eczema, but I am bit on the stubborn side, so at one point I got fed up with one dermatologists after the other over the years essentially telling me “it is chronic, here’s your steroid lotion and light treatment, try to learn to live it”.

So around 2003-2004 I finally found a somewhat “alternative” dermatologist, in the sense that she was open for other treatments than steroid cremes or pills. She took a blood sample and concluded I had candida overgrowth. The best way to get rid of this is to starve it, and since it lives off of carbohydrates, this meant cutting out flour, sugar, rice, processed foods, etc. from my diet, and upping vegetables and healthy fats, which essentially got me started on a Low Carb High Fat diet (LCHF). At first my skin didn’t improve, but I noticed I could now go for REALLY long bike rides, without sugar crashing with cold sweats and immense hunger. Before starting on LCHF, I absolutely had to bring bananas and chocolate with me, for emergency sugar crash situations. So clearly, the new diet stabilized my blood sugar levels, from roller coasting, to a steady state.

Over the years I have added many more body hacks, like fermenting and eating kimchi, to repopulate my gut microbiome. I was given a lot of penicillin in my youth, which might possibly have altered the balance of my gut bacteria.

Over the years my skin got better and better – first the skin behind my knees went from dry and itchy to normal, then my fingers got better one by one, until finally about two years ago, the last little patch of itchy, red, dry skin on my little finger disappeared.

I believe these adjustments in my diet have also helped improve my mood as a by-product, I feel calmer now, though it is hard to tell if it is just a result of getting older :slightly_smiling_face:

Not scratching your dry skin all night long will of course in itself improve your well being, due to better sleep.


Yeah, that helps. Stability in cash-flow can mean the difference in the ability to plan shopping and grabbing a burger off the dollar menu or a handful of chips that were on sale for 65c a bag. Processed foods often keep better, so you don’t have to worry about food waste. As long as I remember to roll and clip the cracker bag, it’ll keep until I eat some more in a week or so. Veggies, not so much.

Also, when you can afford a healthy diet, you can usually afford other things that help with stress. It all works in feedback loops.

Even the act of cooking can have psychological effects. Hell, as others pointed out, the very knowledge that you are doing something “good” for yourself by eating “better” can make you feel better and less guilty about yourself, which can help lift depression. Novelty, too, may play a part.

What I hate about things like this is that they are too often used as cudgels against people who are suffering. “It’s your own fault! Look at the crap you eat! You clearly don’t care about getting better.” Meanwhile, the depressed person would love to do more, but it takes energy that they just don’t have. Cooking healthy takes a lot of energy and effort, things that aren’t always in abundance when you are depressed.


I bet this is the reason so many Americans are on anti-depressants. Constant debt (college, medical, mortgage) weigh on and wear people out.


And sometimes, when you’re depressed and you make a change with the idea in mind that you may become healthier, it feels like self care. Perhaps those folks felt like they were taking care of themselves, thus depression and anxiety improved, and it wasn’t because of bacteria in the gut at all.

Citation: Speaking from experience.


Big ol’ caveat on this thing, because even if a dietary change does change your mood, an improved mood does not mean you no longer long for death or no longer spend hours in unfathomable inscrutable dread and shame. I’ve been eating mostly plants for way longer than I’ve been taking a serotonin modulator, I’m pretty sure the latter has done a lot more to heal my psyche. (tho, could be post hoc fallacy I guess, maybe it just took 9 years for my healthy diet to kick in and that just happened to be around the time I started this one medication)


Yeah, I gotta agree with other commenters that the methodology is pretty weak here.

Seems like the challenge would be to separate “paying more attention to your diet (any diet)” from “following a specific diet”. Like a variation of the Hawthorne effect; the mere fact of knowing you are under observation can make you feel better, in the short term (three weeks, per the article!).

Like, if they did the same study using the “South Indian Diet” or “Mesoamerican Diet”, would they get the same results?