A study of 2,000 men at the University of Eastern Finland reinforces the hypothesis that a healthy diet has potential not only in the warding off of depression, but also in its prevention. It is traditionally believed that depressed individuals often have a poor quality of diet and decreased intake of nutrients.
The study linked a healthy diet characterized by vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms and a lower risk of depression during the follow-up period. Moreover, increased intake of folate was also associated with a decreased risk of depression. The most important dietary sources of folate include vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, meat and liver. Increased coffee consumption was non-linearly associated with a decreased risk of depression.
In a three-year lifestyle intervention, researchers found the improved depression scores with no specific group effect. Furthermore, a reduction in the body weight was associated with a greater reduction in depressive symptoms.
The study was published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, European Journal of Nutrition, Public.
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