I'm sifting through more evidence suggesting that a Mediterranean-style diet could be good for not just your body, but your head. A new British study suggests the diet - rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil - could fend off depression. It’s the opposite with less healthy foods, such as fried foods and processed meats.
The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found that a diet high in processed food amounted to a “risk factor” for developing depression. A “whole food” diet was “protective.”
In the study, those who followed a Mediterranean-style diet were 30% less likely to suffer from depression than people who ate less healthy foods - think of sweetened desserts, fried foods, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products.
It’s the latest research to emerge showing the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Last month I wrote about a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggesting you could cut your risk of depression “significantly” by following the Mediterranean regimen.
In the newest study, researchers from University College, London followed 3,486 people over five years. Their mean age was about 56 years. Roughly a quarter were women. The participants answered questions about their eating habits and conducted their own assessment of their mental health.
“Those who reported suffering depressive symptoms were more likely to have a high consumption of sweetened desserts, fried foods, processed meats, refined grains and high-fat dairy products,” said an article from Britain’s Observer newspaper published on the Guardianweb site.
“These associations held true even after the researchers had adjusted the findings to take account of other indicators of a healthy lifestyle, such as not smoking, taking physical activity and a healthy body mass.”
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing