In October 2018, researchers in Iran and Canada published the results of their recent study in the journal Clinical Nutrition. They outlined how they discovered that following a specific diet may affect depression, anxiety and psychological distress.
The researchers studied the mental health and dietary intakes of nearly 3,400 adults. They grouped the participants into 5 groups, based on how closely they followed an inflammatory diet.
What is an inflammatory diet?
While not specifically part of the Dietary Inflammatory Index, the following foods can cause inflammation, according the Arthritis Foundation:
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
- Refined carbohydrates (such as white flour, white rice, and potatoes)
- Casein (dairy proteins used in cheesemaking)
What did the researchers find?
Well, according to the researchers, study participants in the group that most closely followed an inflammatory diet had higher depression, anxiety, and psychological distress scores. As well, they had greater odds of having depression, anxiety, and psychological distress when compared to those who followed an inflammatory diet the least.
This is one more study in a growing body of research showing a connection between what we eat and our mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.