I was reading about eating healthy and how it interlinked with depression, and found out about this awesome clinical trial that showed that the Mediterranean diet is effective in decreasing depression symptoms! Yey!

It doesn’t really come as a shock to me, as I personally have experienced the power of healthy eating has had in my recovery from depression. But having it confirmed by a clinical trial has so much more weight to it!

The SMILES trial was published in the journal BMC Medicine at the end of January 2017, and it was developed at the Deakin University in Australia.

They took 67 depressed people who ate unhealthy diets, and divided them into two groups. One group of people was eating a healthier mediterranean diet (ModiMed) during the trial, together with some nutritional support sessions, and the other continued on their unhealthy diet, but had to attend social support sessions.

The study showed that the first group (the ones eating the healthier diet) , after only 12 weeks, had improved their overall depression symptoms, having inclusively 32% reached remission!!! (aka no depressive symptoms according to the scale they were using to measure them – MADRS scale [Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale]).

On the other hand, in the unhealthy diet group, only 8% reached remission, and their overall symptom improvement was much lower!

Best of all, calorie intake was not restricted! Meaning it is not a matter of loosing weight, but instead the “good stuff” you intake, that makes the magic in your brain!

So what is this diet (also called in the study as ModiMed)?

(image from this website)

The question we can ask is, but why is this diet so good? It’s not known!

It might have something to do with the increased intake of olive oil or nuts, or the decreased intake of red meat, and carbohydrates. But whatever it is, it works!!!

So, in light of these new findings, I have decided to share with you a recipe that agrees with this diet!

It’s a different approach to a well known COD (fish) dish here in Portugal:

  1. Cook the cod fish (or any other white fish) in milk until it gets tender
  2. Divide the fish in little pieces, and keep it (also keep the milk, or part of it)
  3. Cut vegetables in small pieces, and cook them in water
  4. Dump the vegetable water, and keep the vegetables
  5. In a wok, cut an onion in small pieces, add garlic cut in little pieces  and a spoon of olive oil and salt, let it fry
  6. Add the fish to the wok, and let it also fry for a little bit
  7. Add the vegetables to the mix, let them fry as well
  8. Season with parsley
  9. Add part of the milk you used to cook the fish, and add soybean culinary cream
  10. Let it cook a while longer, correct the seasoning
  11. Once it looks good, take the contents from the wok into a tray
  12. Add parmesan cheese on top, and put it in the oven, for 10 minutes + 5 min in grill

Voilá! Bon apetit!

I also go into the importance of a healthy diet in my book! If you want to be the first to read it for FREE once it comes out, click here!


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9 thoughts to “Mediterranean Diet found to be effective against Depression!

  • Toast and Travel

    This is very interesting!

  • Ju

    Really interesting post with a delicious sounding recipe 🙂 Really glad I came across this, thanks for sharing!

  • Flick Screen Reviews

    Thanks for sharing! Glad you are not in depression now! Cheers!

    • Andie Lopes

      me too!

  • Vox

    I guess it makes sense that if you eat better, you will feel better and be less depressed, but thanks for presenting some research that supports that claim.

    • Andie Lopes

      It’s sort of general knowledge, but I like having scientific data supporting it 🙂

  • Carol

    This is great information. Thanks for sharing!

  • Christine

    I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, and I really notice a difference for the better when I follow a whole food, healthy diet with less refined sugar. Good post!

    • Andie Lopes

      It is amazing the impact food has on our overall well being!
      I’m glad you have found out what works and what doesn’t work for you 🙂


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