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New study shows benefits of healthy eating on mental health

18th September 2015

A major new study has provided evidence of the beneficial mental health impact of healthy dietary patterns.

The researchers compared three diets – the Mediterranean diet, the Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern and Alternative Healthy Eating Index – 2010 – to explore the link between nutrition and mental health.

Questionnaires to assess dietary intake were completed at the start of the project, and again after ten years. A total of 1,550 participants reported a clinical diagnosis of depression or had used antidepressant drugs after a median follow-up of 8.5 years.

It was shown that healthy dietary patterns, comprising of fruit, vegetables, legumes and nuts, as well as a lack of processed meats, were associated with a lower overall risk of depression.

Almudena Sanchez-Villegas at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria said: "These diets are all associated with physical health benefits and now we find that they could have a positive effect on our mental health."

More research is needed to predict the role of nutrient intake for neurophysiological requirements, as well as to identify whether minerals and vitamins or proteins and carbohydrates play the biggest role in causing depression.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801800875-ADNFCR

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