There’s evidence showing that a Mediterranean diet has a lot of health benefits. This is a diet that contains a lot of fruit, vegetables, and nuts. What’s missing from this diet is a lot of fish, dairy, poultry, and red meat. Most of these foods are cooked in olive oil, which researchers have found is a good way to get monounsaturated fat in your diet.
Previously researchers believed such diets were beneficial for people who had cardiovascular and metabolic issues but now they’re also saying that it can help in the battle against depression, especially when this arises later in life.
What Researchers are Saying About the Mediterranean Diet
Clearly this is a healthy, nutritious diet – something that’s also been supported by a lot of research throughout the years. Recently, researchers have also discovered that this diet has many benefits including slowing bone loss that’s caused by osteoporosis, promoting anticancer mechanisms, and supporting the health of your brain. However, the findings of a new study that was presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in San Francisco, CA say that this diet is also good for anyone who’s dealing with depression.
Dr. Konstantinos Argyropoulos from the Hellenic Open University in Patra, Greece made a presentation at this conference during which he showed that people who adhered to this diet were less likely to become depressed in the later years of their lives. To reach this conclusion, his research team worked with staff from adult day care centers in East Attica, Greece. The adults at this study adhered to the Mediterranean diet with 34% doing so highly while the other 64% did so mildly. Of this population, 25% showed symptoms of depression with more women than men doing so. When researchers looked at this population they discovered that those people who highly adhered to the Mediterranean diet, especially eating a lot of vegetables and not much poultry or alcohol were less likely to become depressed.
Why a High Fiber and Vegetable Diet Relieves Depression’s Symptoms
There are studies inquiring about whether doctors should encourage their depressed patients to incorporate a healthier diet into their lifestyle. This is becoming more important as more of our elderly population are struggling with this mental health issue today. When doctors have encouraged these folks to follow a plant-rich diet they’ve gone on to discover that their patients were indeed protected against depressive symptoms as they grew older. However, Dr. Argyropoulos does caution that this was an observational study – not one in which he’d set out to prove a cause and effect relationship. As such, he’s also gone on to caution that while it’s possible that a Mediterranean diet may have a positive impact on your mental health, it’s also possible that depression may make it difficult for someone to lead a healthy lifestyle or even adopt this diet for themselves.
If you or someone you love is battling depression you may want to give the Mediterranean diet a try but you should also seek help from The TMS Advantage. This combination may be just what you need to live a happier, healthier lifestyle now and in the future.
Picture Credit: Louis Hansel