Beat Depression with a Mediterranean Diet?

Ice cream by the pint is probably the ultimate comforter for bereft lovers after a break-up. And while it may help cheer you up for a few minutes, it is not necessarily going to help battle depression. According to a European study, there is a relation between what we eat and our psyche. From the NY Times:

A study of over 10,000 Spaniards followed for almost four and half years on average found that those who reported eating a healthy Mediterranean diet at the beginning of the study were about half as likely to develop depression than those who said they did not stick to the diet.

While the study does not prove causality, it is interesting to see a link between diet and mental health, not just physical health. Many people who refuse to eat healthily claim that they rather enjoy life than obsess about their weight. But what if unhealthy eating patterns also strain your mental health?

Interesting.

What to do at the supermarket:

According to the study

The elements of the diet most closely linked to a lower risk of depression were fruits and nuts, legumes and a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats, the study found.

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  • http://www.fitnessandspice.com Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice)

    I believe in the mood/food connection. I have no research to back it up, just personal observation.

    Thanks again for more food for thought.

  • http://www.betterschoolfood.org Dr. Susan Rubin

    Fat is where it’s at! Our brains are over 60% fat and every cell is surrounded with fatty cell membrane which is the “brain” of the cell! The Standard American Diet is loaded with poor quality “franken fats” that no one should be ingesting: cottonseed oil, soybean oil and anything hydrogenated to name a few!

    Imagine what would happen if we got rid of that crap (not found in Mediterranean diets) and put back real fat instead? My pediatric neurologist friends tell me that many of their patients problems would vanish! I’ll bet we’d all feel better and be happier.