How food can affect depression in young women

German and Bangladeshi researchers recently published an article in the German academic journal Gesundheitswesen, showing a connection between diet and depression in women of child-bearing age.

The researchers studied the mental health and diet habits of roughly 2,600 young women from nearly 100 villages in rural Bangladesh. About 1 in 5 of the women had screened positive for major depression.

The bad news

The researchers discovered 3 areas in which dietary habits negatively affected mental health.

  1. Women for whom food insecurity was moderate to severe were double, or even triple, more likely to have depression.
  2. Having a diet where women ate the same small number of foods doubled the chance of depression.
  3. A chronic lack of energy was associated with a nearly 40% higher likelihood of having depression.

The good news

On a positive note, researchers found that when women ate foods from 5 nutrient groups, they we less likely to have depression. So, what were these 5 groups?

  1. Dairy
  2. Eggs
  3. Fish
  4. Vitamin A-rich foods
  5. Vitamin C-rich foods

This is one more study in a growing body of research showing a connection between what we eat and our mental health.

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