Diet & Mental Health
A new review of connections between diet and mental health suggests that many common beliefs about the health effects of certain foods lack solid evidence. However, the researchers found “good evidence” that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables and olive oil consistently yields mental health benefits, including some protection against depression and anxiety. Investigation leader Suzanne Dickson, a professor at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, said her team found increasing evidence of a link between a poor diet and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. She added that in healthy adults dietary effects on mental health are small, which makes it hard to detect them and that dietary supplementation may work only if there are deficiencies due to poor diet. The analysis confirmed that some foods had provable links to brain function in later life such as nutrition in the womb and early development, but the researchers concluded that proving the effect of diet on mental health in the general population was more difficult.
Suzanne L. Dickson et al, “Nutritional psychiatry: Towards improving mental health by what you eat,” European Neuropsychopharmacology, December 2019.
More from this week’s bulletin:
- Plants To Counter Stress At Work
- Air Pollution’s Effect On Bones
- Need a taste of the tropics? Try: Coconut-Lemon Bars
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