Mediterranean diet may improve mental health

Did you know that if you follow a Mediterranean diet, you could improve your mental health?

In 2004, Italian researchers published an article in Public Health Nutrition, showing a possible link between following a Mediterranean diet and age-related cognitive decline. Over 5600 Italians over the age of 65 were tested, and researchers found that a traditional Mediterranean diet “appears to protect against [age-related cognitive decline] and cognitive decline of vascular or degenerative origin.”

Two years later, Spanish researchers published an article in the same journal outlining the influence of the Mediterranean diet on depression. Researchers studied over 9600 participants and found connections between folate, B12, and fatty acids (nutrients present in foods of the Mediterranean diet) among some of the participants.

So what is the Mediterranean diet? A diet high in fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes, cereals, olive oil, and fish consumption; low in meat and dairy consumption; and moderate in alcohol consumption.

It just goes to show the importance of a healthy diet rich in micronutrients, something we have discussed at length here before.

Image by amrufm. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.