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October 18, 2013 • Brain Health, Healthy Living

Diet and Depression

I am personally convinced that you can eat yourself happy or eat yourself sad, but it is great to get some data to back up my beliefs. In an evaluation that monitored the diets of over 2000 adult males in Finland for a period of 13-20 years, those adhering to a “healthy” diet had less depressive symptoms and a lower risk of developing depression. In contrast, those who consumed an “unhealthy” diet exhibited greater depressive symptoms. For this study, a “healthy” diet was defined as high in fruits, vegetables, berries, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese. The “unhealthy” diet was characterized as high in processed meats like sausage, sugary foods and beverages, processed foods, and refined white carbs. An increased intake of the B vitamin folate, known to be vital for brain health and function, was also significantly associated with a lower risk of depression. The best food sources of folate are beans, dark leafy greens, lentils, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and beets.