Research by scientists from University College London has become another confirmation that there is a strong link between nutrition and mental health. Scientific experts have found that people whose usual type of food is close to the so-called Mediterranean diet are much less likely to be depressed.
The results of this work are published in The Independent. They show that in the treatment of depression it is extremely important to practice “dietary counseling” for patients, since some foods have an anti-inflammatory effect on the nervous system and thus protect against the development of mental disorders. Scientists have discovered that people who eat on the principles of the Mediterranean diet are 33% less prone to depression.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the national cuisine of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean. The main source of nutrients in it are vegetable proteins, a lot of vegetables are consumed (up to a kilogram per day), bread. In the Mediterranean diet there is very little fatty meat – fresh fish, seafood, lean meat, vegetable oils, first of all, olive oil are used.
“There is a strong link between the Mediterranean diet and lower susceptibility to inflammatory diseases, as well as depression,” the authors reported after they analyzed the eating habits of 36 thousand people from France, Australia, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Scientists are convinced that depression in humans develops as a result of systemic inflammation of the whole body. Inflammation, in turn, is triggered by food, whose components activate the movement of inflammatory conglomerates through the blood supply system. Such food, according to them, is alcohol, saturated with unhealthy fats and sugar products.
The researchers said that “the link between the intestine and the brain plays a key role in mental health, and it is modulated by gastrointestinal bacteria.” Health products improving the intestinal microflora and mental health, experts say.