Diet Is Associated With Risk of Depression
A healthy diet may reduce the risk of severe depression, according to a prospective follow-up study of more than 2,000 men conducted at the University of Eastern Finland. This is ground breaking research because psychiatrists have always maintained that it is unclear whether diet and the intake of foods and nutrients are associated with the risk of depression in healthy individuals.
The study reinforces the hypothesis that a healthy diet has potential not only in the warding off of depression but also in its prevention.
What characterises a “healthy diet”?
A healthy diet characterized by vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms and a lower risk of depression during the follow-up period.
Increased intake of folate was also associated with a decreased risk of depression. Vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, meat and liver are the most important dietary sources of folate. Folate is absolutely essentials for neurotransmitter conversion and communication.
Adherence to an unhealthy diet characterized by a high consumption of sausages, processed meats, sugar-containing desserts and snacks, sugary drinks, manufactured foods, French rolls and baked or processed potatoes was associated with an increased prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms.