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:
- Cook the cod fish (or any other white fish) in milk until it gets tender
- Divide the fish in little pieces, and keep it (also keep the milk, or part of it)
- Cut vegetables in small pieces, and cook them in water
- Dump the vegetable water, and keep the vegetables
- 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
- Add the fish to the wok, and let it also fry for a little bit
- Add the vegetables to the mix, let them fry as well
- Season with parsley
- Add part of the milk you used to cook the fish, and add soybean culinary cream
- Let it cook a while longer, correct the seasoning
- Once it looks good, take the contents from the wok into a tray
- 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!