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Psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow shares with The Doctors the findings of an exciting new study connecting depression with food. A 2018 research study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that people who consumed more raw fruits and vegetables actually experienced less depression, better quality of life and better mood.
Dr. Dow shares the top foods for improved mental health:
- Dark leafy greens
- Citrus fruit
- Fresh berries
The study put people into two groups, those who ate fruits and vegetables raw, and those who ate them either canned or cooked. When these foods are cooked, they do lose a bit of their vitamin content. Dr. Dow says this brings up the question if we add more raw fruits and vegetables into our diet will it help naturally treat depression and mood?
Dr. Dow believes it will!. He says natural B vitamins like B12 and B9 (folate) which are found in leafy greens and other vegetables are then used by the body to manufacture feel-good neurotransmitters.
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra asks if Dr. Dow thinks there is a correlation between the increase of people eating less raw foods and more processed foods and the growing rate of depression. Dr. Dow says, “Absolutely.” Dr. Dow explains that most processed foods use soybean oil which has tons of Omega-6s which are pro-inflammatory for the brain. He says these processed foods actually shrink the brain. When they spike blood sugar all the time, the hippocampus, which is the part of your brain that helps you remain resilient in the face of stress, gets smaller.
ER physician Dr. Travis points out that this doesn’t mean you can’t cook your fruits and vegetables and still get a ton of health benefits but if you can add these raw foods into your diet, you may see a change in the way you’re feeling. Dr. Dow wrote an entire book on this called “Heal Your Drained Brain.”