The Mediterranean diet has previously been said to bring huge, lifelong benefits to those who follow it. Studies have reported that individuals who partake in this diet have lived longer lives, increased heart health, and increased weight loss. This diet is shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. To add to the list, researchers in Greece have also recently found that the Mediterranean diet prevents symptoms of depression and a later-in-life depression diagnosis.
So, what is a Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet focuses on maximizing intake of vegetables and lowering intake in poultry and alcohol. This mimics the natural, traditional foods consumed by those who live in Mediterranean areas. This diet focus on restricting the types of food you eat, rather than how much.
- Foods to focus on: Vegetables, fruit, fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Foods to eat in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
- Foods to eat only rarely: Red meat.
- Foods to stay away from: Added sugars, processed foods, refined grains, and refined oils.
- Drinks to focus on: Primarily water, but coffee and tea are fine too as long as you stay away from too much cream, milk, and sugar.
- Drinking in moderation: Red wine. One glass a day is shown to benefit heart health!
- Drinks to stay away from: Sugary juices, sodas, and alcohols.
- How does this relate to depression?
Because the food you eat gives your body nutrients, when eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, like the Mediterranean diet, your body’s systems operate in better working order. This includes regulating the chemicals released in the brain, like serotonin, which are responsible for a person’s moods and depression.
Nutrition is also linked to improving the immune system, which has a direct impact on a person’s depression symptoms, studies have shown.
If you or a loved one are suffering from depression, consider clinical research to help. Preferred Research Partners is currently enrolling volunteers for a depression study near Little Rock, AR. To see if you qualify,fill out the form below and a study representative will be in touch with you shortly.