4 studies showing diet connected to better mental health in older adults

For over 20 years, we at Truehope have advocated for nutrition-based treatment options for mental health issues. At the time, little research supported this position. Times have changed, and today, there’s a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health.

Take, for example, the following 3 studies that show diet is connected to better mental health in older adults.

Cognitive decline

Spanish researchers found that in a study of 79 people over the age of 75 there was a positive relationship between eating a Mediterranean diet and improved cognitive function.


Researchers in China and the United States discovered in a study of nearly 5,000 adults over the age of 60 that those who were malnourished were 31% more likely to be depressed than those who weren’t malnourished.

Improved cognitive function

A 2017 meta-analysis of over 34,000 people found that the more participants followed a Mediterranean diet, the less likely they were to develop cognitive disorders.

As well, a 2015 study randomly assigned nearly 500 older participants (mean age of 67) into one of 3 groups: Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil, Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, and a control diet of just reducing dietary fats generally. Researchers found that when participants supplemented their Mediterranean diet with olive oil or mixed nuts, they were more likely to improve cognitive function.

Nutrition plays a key role in mental health. Be sure to incorporate nutritional strategies in your mental health treatment plan.

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