Certain specific dietary habits have been linked to an increased risk of suffering from depression in middle age, according to a new study. It’s no secret that poor diet has a big impact on the body, including one’s gut bacteria, which paves the way for a variety of physical and mental issues. The latest study highlights some specific aspects of one’s diet that may increase their depression risk.
The latest research on the topic comes from the University of Toronto, which found that both men and women who eat low amounts of fruit and vegetables are more likely to suffer from depression. As well, the study found that men in particular were at a higher risk of depression if they ate high levels of fat or consumed low amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
This isn’t the first study to find that eating more fruit and vegetables may lower depression risk, underscoring the persistent relationship between the two. Though the exact link between depression and these foods remains unclear, researchers speculate that the various beneficial compounds found in fruit and vegetables may play a role in protecting mental health.
As well, the researchers note that various nutrients — specifically, certain vitamins and minerals — found in vegetables and fruit are known to lower the plasma concentration of C-reactive protein, which is a biomarker for low levels of inflammation that has been linked to depression.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the researchers found that men and women who suffered from chronic pain and one or more chronic health conditions also experienced depression. Nutrition and the overall state of one’s health and body both play roles in the development of depression, which can also arise from various social issues. The study notes that immigrant women were more likely to experience depression than women who were born in Canada where the study was conducted.