Health & Wellness

A Mediterranean Diet Helps Prevent Depression

A recent study has confirmed that a diet fruit, veggies, plants, nuts, fish will lower your risk for depression

By Katrina Caruso


If depression or other mental health problems run in your family, it might be time to re-evaluate what you’re eating: a major study published recently in Molecular Psychiatry showed that following a Mediterranean diet cuts your risk for depression by a third.

The study isn’t the first to make the connection, but it is the largest of its kind. Researchers from University College London reviewed 41 previous studies involving a total of more than 32,000 adults from Australia, Europe, the United States, and the UK. Those who followed the Mediterranean diet had a 33% lower incidence of depression than those who ate more processed foods, saturated fats, and sugar. Those who ate the least processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats had a 24% lower chance of developing depression.

The Mediterranean diet is low in dairy products and rich in healthy oils from fish, nuts, and olive oil, and in vitamins and fibre from plants and whole grains. The diet includes meats such as poultry but not as the main source of nutrients, and red meat is eaten sparingly. Junk foods, including refined grains such as white bread and rice, are avoided.

This is not the first time that this diet has come out on top for reducing the risks for health issues: several scientific studies have found that the Mediterranean diet helps reduce the risk for breast cancer. Other studies have shown that the diet can also help to prevent heart disease.

If you do suffer from depression, it can be difficult to monitor your food intake and eat a balanced diet. It’s advisable to seek professional help for support.

Photo: iStock/OksanaKiian.