Scientists from New Zealand and Australia conducted a recent study confirming what holistic nutritional clinicians have long known. Depression (and so many other of today’s common conditions) can be relieved, and even eliminated with a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
With millennia of traditional foods available to study, and reams of contemporary anecdotal and clinical evidence supporting the central role of food to our health, it seems like proving the benefits of a nourishing diet would be an easy target to hit.
But even so, there has been little conclusive scientific research conducted on the overall impacts of diet, or of its effects on specific psychological maladies like depression. Most studies have instead focused on the effects of a single food, like red meat or acai berries, or isolated specific molecules, like Vitamin D, rather than look at a person’s diet as a whole.
One likely reason for this is that there is little political or financial incentive in today’s pharmaceutical-driven medical paradigm to “prove” definitively that food is medicine.
Another reason is practicability. Studying dietary impacts across populations is much more difficult to pin down than it might seem. Everyone eats differently, and given the enormous variations from person to person, day to day, situation to situation, it is virtually impossible to account for all of the potential effects of food on a person’s overall health.
This becomes even more challenging to measure when other lifestyle factors are also present that impact the digestion and uptake of nutrients into the human body, such as stress, social context, time of day, age, preexisting medical conditions, medications, etc.
So science has long avoided formal study of this essential topic, perhaps even suggesting its relative unimportance by default. After all, science can’t acknowledge what cannot be measured or reliably replicated.
But the inability to measure dietary impacts scientifically does NOT mean that they don’t exist! Billions of people’s personal experiences speak to the contrary.
This is why it is up to each individual person to “become the expert of you”, and learn how to listen to what your body uniquely needs at each moment.
Read the full text of the SMILES trial, a randomized, controlled study of dietary improvement for adults with major depression.
Don’t wait for science to figure it out for you—you can be the scientist of your own body, mind, and spirit starting right now!
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