You feel how you eat?
Following a healthy Mediterranean diet may improve your emotional state as well as your physical one as you age.
Eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits and olive oil, with a moderate intake of fish may lessen the likelihood of developing clinical depression, a risk factor for cognitive decline.
Researchers looking at the dietary patterns of seniors for more than a decade, discovered that adhering to the Mediterranean diet was inversely related to developing depressive symptoms over time, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.
As with other studies, researchers looked at food groups, not specifically ingredients grown in Mediterranean countries.
“It was a Midwestern version of the diet,” writes Kimberly A. Skarupski, Ph.D., lead author on the study, in an email interview.
Her research suggests that the Mediterranean diet may be beneficial to mental health because it supplies B vitamins that play an important role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters that affect mood.
In addition, the antioxidant-rich diet may protect cells from oxidative damage.
Is it possible that the Mediterranean diet, which is as delicious as it is wholesome, provides pleasure as an antidote to depression?
“We did not measure the ‘pleasure factor.’ I would think that taking the time to enjoy anything [food] would be good for depression,” says Skarupski, assistant dean for faculty development, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.
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