Researchers in France and the UK recently published a study in Molecular Psychiatry, showing a connection between diet and depression.
The researchers used three databases to find over 40 previously published studies, which they then analyzed to “synthesize the link between diet quality . . . and depressive outcomes”. Diets highlighted in those studies included:
- Mediterranean diet
- Healthy Eating Index
- Alternative Healthy Eating Index
- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
- Dietary Inflammatory Index
What they discovered was that in 4 studies investigating the Mediterranean diet, this diet seemed to have the closest connection to depression incidents: the better participants adhered to the Mediterranean diet, the lower their depression incidence. Low-inflammation diets had a similar but slightly less impressive results among 4 other studies.
The researchers found similar results for other dietary patterns, but they number of studies for each was much smaller. Even so, collectively, they showed that better dietary practices were connected with lower incidences of depression, regardless of the specific diet.
The researchers concluded that “adhering to a healthy diet, in particular a traditional Mediterranean diet, or avoiding a pro-inflammatory diet appears to confer some protection against depression.” In fact, they recommended that this number of studies showing a connection between diet and depression suggests that diet should be a consideration when trying to prevent depression:
This provides a reasonable evidence base to assess the role of dietary interventions to prevent depression.
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.