At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another article our gut health nerds found interesting…
There is a distinct link between depression and junk food. So say researchers who published an article in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Depression, which is characterized by low moods, loss of interest or pleasure in life, and disturbed sleep or appetite, affects over 300 million people globally. And that number is on the rise. About a third of people with a serious, chronic medical condition also have symptoms of depression.
No doubt, depression is a widespread problem. But imagine if simply changing to your eating habits could help reduce your risk of depression.
The authors of this study hoped to prove just that. After examining a number of mainstream diets, they searched for a link between depression and the foods we eat. The diets they explored were:
Mediterranean diet: promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil
DASH diet: high in vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy; low in saturated fats and cholesterol
Pro-inflammatory diet: high in processed meats like bacon, sausage and lunch meat; high in trans fatty foods like baked goods, fast food and sweets
According to the article, “This provides a reasonable evidence base to assess the role of dietary interventions to prevent depression.” In plain English: yeah, diet matters.
In particular, the traditional Mediterranean diet with very little pro-inflammatory foods seemed to be the best for preventing depression. Although the diets studied are different, all of the “good” ones had 3 things in common:
1) lots of fruits, vegetables, and nuts
2) minimal inflammatory foods, like processed meats and trans fats (aka junk food)
3) alcohol only in moderation
Diet matters. There are many physical reasons to stick to a healthy diet, but here’s a little more evidence that a healthy diet may also help protect you from serious mental illnesses like depression.
Other references used for statistics: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9288-chronic-illness-and-depression