How the type of grains women eat can affect their mental health

A team of Iranian and Canadian researchers recently teamed up to publish a study in the European Journal of Nutrition, showing a connection between the type of grain women eat and their mental health.

The researchers studied the nutrition information, specifically carbohydrate intake, for nearly 3,200 people in Iran. They also analyzed their mental health data for depression, anxiety, and psychological distress.

The carbohydrates were classified into 2 categories: whole-grain and refined grains. Whole grains included wheat seed (used for cooking), diet bread (cooked by whole flour),  and dark breads (whole flour and no refined sugar). Refined grains included white breads, rice, pasta, noodles, white flour, and biscuits.

What the researchers discovered was that women who consumed a lot of refined grains also had a higher risk of depression or anxiety. In fact, the more refined grains they ate, the more their risk increased. As well, they found that women who consumed a moderate amount of whole grains had lower risk of depression and anxiety.

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.

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