Saturday, 18 October 2014

Just 10 Days of a Mediterranean Diet Can Improve Your Mood!

Although Coca-Cola might try convincing you that buying their product will bring happiness, people generally
seem aware that too much processed food is bad for you. But it isn't just your body that can suffer from a bad diet - it's your brain. While plenty of research suggests that certain chemicals and eating patterns can negatively affect your mood there are very few actual control trials that look at the effect of diet on mood and brain power.


McMillan et al. (2011) decided to test whether a 10-day Mediterranean diet intervention would influence people's mood and cognitive performance. Often cited as one of the healthiest diets in the world, the Mediterranean diet contains a lot of fruit and vegetables, fish, olive oil, whole grains and legumes, with a reduction of processed food and refined carbohydrates.

They recruited 26 women (1 dropped out) and randomly assigned them into "diet change" (DC) or "no change" (NC) groups. The DC group were given guidelines on how to eat in a way that was consistent with the Mediterranean diet, while the others were told to follow their diets as usual. These ladies kept a daily food diary during the study, and their mood and performance on a range of cognitive tasks (e.g. working memory, attention) were measured before and after the 10-day diet.

Although three of the women's diaries were incomplete, recorded meals from the food diaries of those in the DC condition were 93% compliant with a Mediterranean diet. It turned out that those following the Mediterranean diet reported higher feelings of vigour, alertness and contentedness at the end of the 10 days, while those who did not change their diets reported lower alertness and contentedness that at the start.
As well as improved mood, those who had followed the Mediterranean diet also performed faster on a spatial working memory test at the end of their diet intervention. Strangely, though, those in the NC group performed faster at the end of day 10 on numeric working memory reaction time and word recognition than they had on day 1, while the effect was not seen in the DC group. The researchers were unable to explain that one.

So, does that mean we should all switch over to a Mediterranean diet straight away? Maybe not. As the women in the DC group were only given loose guidelines for what to eat, it is hard to know exactly what they did eat - and if they recorded it accurately. Actively changing diet, rather than doing nothing, could have been responsible for the effect. "Although the Mediterranean diet was not mentioned explicitly," say the researchers, "it is likely that those in the DC group will have been aware that they were changing to a healthier diet, and this may have led to expectations of more wellbeing with a direct or indirect effect on mood."

With such a small sample size and short-term intervention, it is clear that more research is needed before proclaiming the Mediterranean diet the route to happiness. However, there's a bunch of research showing its benefits for overall health, and less processed food and more fruit and veg sounds like a good idea to me!
References:


McMillan, L., Owen, L., Kras, M., & Scholey, A. (2011). Behavioural effects of a 10-day Mediterranean diet. Results from a pilot study evaluating mood and cognitive performance. Appetite, 56(1), 143-147.


http://www.mind.org.uk/media/7498/mind-guide-to-food-and-mood-2010.pdf

Picture from http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Mediterranean-diet-s-benefits-confirmed-4308008.php Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

8 comments:

  1. Read about the different diets and look for the types of food and what you need to do to be able to eat.the big diabetes lie reviews

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fantastic blog you have here. You’ll discover me looking at your stuff often. Saved! http://pitaway.com/locations/warren/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replenish 360 offers one of the most affordable wellness and preventative services that are personalized and one of the most activating one-of-a-kind IV drip and infusions, vitamin and antioxidant supplementation, micronutrient therapy, and other additional supplementary wellness services to “renew your body, refresh your mind, and restore performance.” IV Wellness

    ReplyDelete
  4. It might seem that the last thing the diet world needs is another diet. However a fully qualified dietician Isabel De Los Rios has challenged all these diets by designing a diet that looks at lifestyle rather a specific diet package. after dinner ritual weight loss reviews

    ReplyDelete
  5. We post different types of posts related to a friendly diet, healthy tips, and more. Our main target is to confirm your healthy life. Apple diet

    ReplyDelete
  6. One who is considering dieting should, at the very least, buy the book that is written about the diet in order to learn how the diet works with the body and healthy lifestyle effects the different body systems. Each of the authors has a lot of information included in their book about these concerns.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello, this weekend is good for me, since this time i am reading this enormous informative article here at my home. Formacion Profesional

    ReplyDelete