Researchers in the United States recently published a study in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology, showing a connection between the DASH diet and depression.
Researchers assessed nearly 1,000 participants every year over 6.5 years, focusing on depression levels and dietary habits. Participants ended up in 1 of 3 groups, depending on how closely they followed the DASH diet.
What is the DASH diet?
According to Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the DASH diet is as follows:
- Vegetables: 4–5 servings per day
- Fruit: 4–5 servings per day
- Grains (mainly whole grains): 7–8 servings per day
- Low fat or no-fat dairy: 2–3 servings per day
- Lean meats, poultry and fish: 2 servings or less per day
- Nuts, seeds and dry beans: 4–5 servings per week
- Fats and oils: 2–3 servings per day
What did they discover?
The researchers found that participants in the two groups that most closely followed the DASH diet had lower rates of depression than those in the group that least followed the DASH diet. Of course, those in the group that best followed the DASH diet had even lower rates of depression than the second group, even though the second group performed better than the third.
Also, they found that those who followed a typical Western diet were most likely of any groups to develop depression over time.
This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.
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