Healthy food choices can not only lower your risk for disease, but also influence your mental health.
New research, published in BMC Medicine, examined 15,000 people over a ten year period.
Researchers found a link between a healthy diet and a decreased chance of developing depression.
All participants in the study were not depressed at the beginning and were asked to stick to one of three diets: the Mediterranean Diet, the Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern and Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010.
Over the years, they filled out surveys monitoring how well they stayed on their diet of choice.
After several years, a total of 1,550 participants reported depression or had been treated for it.
What the researchers found was those who stayed on a healthy diet were less likely to have suffered from depression.
Those who switched from an unhealthy diet to a healthy way of eating saw the greatest benefits. Being super strict to a diet plan did not seem to provide additional benefits.
From the Press Release:
The Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 was associated with the greatest reduction of risk of depression but most of the effect could be explained by its similarity with the Mediterranean Diet. Thus, common nutrients and food items such as omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and moderate alcohol intake present in both patterns (Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 and Mediterranean diet) could be responsible for the observed reduced risk in depression associated with a good adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010.
So a diet full of antioxidants, nutrients, minerals, and more will help to keep that smile on your face.
A healthy diet can indeed help you lead a happy life.