Less depression in older adults who eat Mediterranean diet

Researchers in Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, and the United States recently published a study in Experimental Gerontology, showing a connection between the Mediterranean diet and depression among older adults.

Researchers analyzed the diet and depression symptoms of a sample of older adults over the age of 65 and who lived in the Mediterranean Basin.

What they found was that those who had depression (both mild and severe) were less likely to follow a Mediterranean diet. Conversely, those without depression were more likely to follow a Mediterranean diet.

Interestingly, they also discovered that drinking tea every day seemed to be connected to not having depression.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

A 2003 study defined the traditional Mediterranean diet as follows:

  • High intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, and cereals
  • High intake of olive oil
  • Low intake of saturated fats
  • Moderately high intake of fish (depending on sea proximity)
  • Low-to-moderate intake of dairy products (mostly in the form of cheese or yogurt)
  • Low intake of meat and poultry
  • Regular but moderate intake of ethanol (primarily wine and generally during meals)

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.