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Mediterranean Diet: Depression Free Living?

Eating your way out of depression has been a topic of some discussion for many years now and it would not be wrong to think there are many everyday foods out there that can help us do just that. With this in mind I would like to discuss yet another ‘we are what we eat’ claim.

Scientists have researched another healthy eating claim for depression. It appears that eating a Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of depression by more than a third. The claim is that eating a traditional Mediterranean diet may be the trigger in achieving a depression-free living standard rather than eating single health-giving food.

The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Clinic of the University of Navarra, Pamplona studied more than 10,000 Spaniards over a six years period closely monitoring their diets and mental health. The outcome was that those individuals who eat a Mediterranean diet as their lifestyle were far less at risk of developing depression, by some 30%, than those would do not. So if the reason for low mental health problems in the Mediterranean is their diet then just maybe we should adopt some of their ways and start eating lots more fruit and vegetables together with some lovely fish all topped off with a sprinkling of nuts.

The University has been reported as saying:

The dietary pattern may exert a degree of protection against depression. It may be more important than a single component.

If you break down the diet and take a look at the benefits each item brings then it is not an untrue statement. example… Fruit apart from the obvious vitamin C which we need to help protect our arteries by fighting against clogging, high blood pressure, and cholesterol damage. Vitamin C will also certainly boost the immune system. It is most important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to our bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also gives us our resistance to fight infectious and immune-related diseases. It also helps for the absorption of iron and helps control blood cholesterol. We, humans, have no enzymatic capability, to manufacture vitamin C we need to take it in daily. Many other vitamins can be found in fruit such as Vitamin A aids our vision, it is also responsible for healthy skin and keeping our mucous membranes up to the mark.

All the B vitamins can be found in fruit, fish, and nuts among others providing us with energy. They also provide us with healthy muscles and a healthy nervous system. The B vitamins are essential vitamins for children to ensure normal growth, as well as helping to stave off depression.

The Vitamin and Minerals section on this website looks at the benefits of healthy eating more closely, so for me, the statement ‘we are what we eat is no surprise. So a combined diet of fruit and vegetables, fish and nuts would surely have a high impact on our sustained good health and a possible reduction in depressed individuals.