A new study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that a healthy diet can reduce the symptoms associated with depression.
The study, conducted at the University of Manchester, analyzed health data from almost 46,000 people. The analysis was a meta-review, or a study of previously conducted scientific studies.
"Adopting a healthier diet can boost peoples' mood," said Joseph Firth, an Honorary Research fellow at the University of Manchester. "However, it has no clear effects on anxiety."
The study found, according to a write-up, "all types of dietary improvement appeared to have equal effects on mental health."
"Just making simple changes is equally beneficial for mental health," Firth said. "In particular, eating more nutrient-dense meals which are high in fiber and vegetables, while cutting back on fast-foods and refined sugars appears to be sufficient for avoiding the potentially negative psychological effects of a 'junk food' diet."
This study also found women displayed "significantly greater" benefits to their symptoms of depression and anxiety when switching to a healthier diet. On that finding, Firth said, more research is needed.