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Mediterranean style diet may battle menopausal depression

Posted Feb 10 2010 3:07pm

Consuming a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts, olive oil, and legumes, may prevent depression, according to a new study from Spain.

It seems that individuals who eat a Mediterranean-style diet are 30 per cent less likely to suffer from depression, compared to those who had the lowest Mediterranean diet scores, according to a study with over 10,000 people published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

“The results of our analysis suggest the possibility that the Mediterranean dietary pattern is protectively associated with depression,” wrote the researchers, led by Almudena Sanchez-Villegas from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Navarra, Pamplona.

“We acknowledge that our findings must be confirmed by additional prospective studies with better control of other potential confounders and also by trials with a more objective and rigorous assessment of the outcome,” they added.

The Mediterranean diet, rich in cereals, wine, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains, fish and olive oil, and low in dairy, meat, junk food and fat , has been linked to longer life, less heart disease, and protection against some cancers. The diet's main nutritional components include beta-carotene, vitamin C, tocopherols, polyphenols, and essential minerals.

Study details
The researchers analyzed dietary information from 10,094 healthy Spanish participants and researchers calculated their adherence to the Mediterranean diet based on nine components, including the ratio of monounsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids, moderate alcohol and dairy product intakes, low meat intake, and high intake of legumes, fruit, nuts, cereals, vegetables and fish.

After an average of 4.4 years of follow-up, depression had been documented in 156 men and 324 women. Close adherence to the Mediterranean diet, indicated by higher Med diet scores, was associated with a 30 percent reduction in the risk of depression, compared to people with the lowest scores.

Night sweats , hot flashes and depression are some of the most common symptoms of menopause . So finding a natural way to combat these symptoms is helpful. The Mediterranean diet is not only delicious, but an easy change to implement into your daily life.
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