Pro-inflammatory foods might increase depression

Researchers in Australia, Italy, the UK, and the United States recently published a study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, showing a connection between inflammatory diet and depression.

Over an 8-year period, researchers tracked the eating habits and mental health of over 3,600 people who either had osteoarthritis or were at risk of developing it. They split the participants into 4 groups, based on their baseline inflammatory diet scores.

What are pro-inflammatory diets?

Researchers used the Dietary Inflammatory Index to calculate an inflammatory score of participants’ diets. This score rates diets on a continuum of anti-inflammatory to pro-inflammatory.

While not specifically part of the Dietary Inflammatory Index, the following foods can cause inflammation, according the the Arthritis Foundation:

  1. Sugar
  2. Saturated fats
  3. Trans fats
  4. Omega 6 fatty acids
  5. Refined carbohydrates (such as white flour, white rice, and potatoes)
  6. MSG
  7. Gluten
  8. Casein

What did the researchers find?

Well, they found that after the 8 years, the group that had the highest baseline inflammatory diet scores was 24% more likely to develop depression than the group with the lowest scores.

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

Did you like this post? Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter to stay up to date on new posts.