In the past, there has been an argument about whether making changes to your diet can help make you happier and have better mental health, with the benefits of exercise on mental health being clear. Down to this, more research has been invested to see if there is, in fact, a correlation between someone’s diet and their mental health.
Experts such as Dr Joseph Firth of The University of Manchester have said that previous research has alone not been able to establish whether dietary improvement could benefit mental health. Dr Firth said; “Evidence for the effects of diet on mood and mental well-being had up to now yet to be assessed.”
Down to this, Dr Firth and his colleagues looked to further previous research by bringing together all of the existing research and data that is focused on the finding out more about the relationship between diets and mental health; allowing them to analyse all relevant data to gather a conclusion.
From putting in the time to analyse the data to every detail, the researchers were able to find enough evidence that improving peoples’ diets, “significantly reduces the main symptoms of depression.” Dr Firth said that their recent analysis is; “showing that adopting a healthier diet can boost peoples’ mood. However, it did, in fact, have no clear effects on anxiety.”
Although the results didn’t show to be positive for all mental health problems, Dr Firth said that the study is good news, as it also showed that all types of dietary change showed to have an equal effect on mental health. This means that weight-loss, improving nutrition and fat reduction all showed to have the same effect on reducing symptoms of depression.
Dr Firth said; “The similar effects from any type of dietary improvement suggests that highly specific diets are unnecessary for the average individual.” This is really positive for the average person, as they are able to implement dietary changes without having to invest time and money in specialist diet plans; instead, they can look into simple changes that they can make themselves to make a huge difference.
The study is especially promising for Sports Nutritionists and those with Personal Trainers. This is because it has shown that Dieticians are not needed to make a change. Instead, it has been shown that small dietary changes that Personal Trainers with Sports Nutrition qualifications can suggest can have a huge benefit on their clients’ mental health. Now, Personal Trainers can do more when offering nutritional advice. Down to professional limits, Personal Trainers are limited to the advice they can offer, but now they can do more with the advice they can give.
Overall, the study has confirmed what many mental health, fitness and nutrition experts have been hoping to confirm for a long time, as it is now known that dietary choices do in fact impact mental health; making it easier for research to go ahead in the future to help combat mental health problems.