Health How a researcher’s diet plan is helping beat depression

How a researcher’s diet plan is helping beat depression

A diet developed by a La Trobe university PhD student is helping adults with major depressive illness.

The ModiMed Diet is the brainchild of PhD student Rachelle Opie.

A modified version of the traditional Mediterranean diet, the ModiMedDiet has received widespread international interest following its use in world first research that showed it could improve the mood and symptoms of adults with severe depression.

“As far as we know this is a first dietary plan that has been developed and successfully delivered by dieticians for adults with major depression,” Ms Opie says.

Those following the ModiMed Diet are advised to select fruits, vegetables and nuts as a snack, eat leafy greens and tomatoes every day and select whole grain breads and cereals.

The diet suggests eating legumes three to four times per week, oily fish at least twice a week and lean red meat three to four times per week, as well as two to three serves of reduced fat dairy products every day.

“The diet was designed to be easy to follow, sustainable, practical and considerate of individual circumstances,” Ms Opie says.

Ms Opie pointed out that depression is a global problem and there is a need to find new ways to treat it. She says people are naturally interested in knowing more about the ModiMedDiet.

“Now that we have evidence to show that it is possible to treat depression through dietary counselling, it’s important that we share what we have learnt,” Ms Opie says.

“We believe dieticians should be funded to deliver dietary plans like ours to help improve the lives of adults affected by severe depression.”

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