We all know the advice, we should be trying to eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, low in red meat et cetera, et cetera to look after our physical health. But what about our mental health?
Researchers from the Navarra region in Spain were pondering this very question and so started collecting data from approx. 15,000 people back in 1999 with a follow up around 10 years later. The people in the study were following one of three diets: Mediterranean Diet, Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern or Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010. They were then given a score that indicated how closely they stuck to the designated diet.
During the next 10 years, approx. 10% were recorded as suffering from some kind of depression. But here comes the interesting part, although adherence to the diets was associated with a reduced risk of depression, once the participants had a certain moderate level of adherence to the diets adhering more to the diets did not further reduce their chance of depression.
In other words, eat well, but you don’t have to overdo it.