Junk food increases your risk of depression by 40%, research finds
A diet high in fast food makes you more prone to depression, according to new research
Manchester Metropolitan University published a study which found junk food increases the risk of depression by up to 40%.
Junk food, processed food and items high in calories, fat and sugar are more likely to cause inflammation.
It is this which researchers believe explains the link between dirty grub and depression.
What did the study say?
The research was a meta-analysis. This is essentially a 'review' of all the major studies on a particular topic.
Scientists collected data from 11 previous studies exploring if there was a link between depression and foods known to cause inflammation (such as junk food).
In those whose diet was higher in processed foods high in calories, sugar and saturated fat, there was an overall 40% increased risk of depression.
The evidence is quite reliable, considering over 100,000 people from all over the globe were part of the research.
Which foods fare better?
It's not all doom and gloom, as researchers instead recommend the Mediterranean Diet for reducing your risk of depression and other diseases.
Dr. Steven Bradburn from Manchester Metropolitan University's Bioscience Research Centre says:
"Simply changing what we eat may be a cheaper alternative to pharmacological interventions, which often come with side-effects."
The Mediterranean diet builds on the healthy habits of people living in areas close to the Mediterranean Sea such as France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
In this part of the world, diets are traditionally rich in:
- Oily fish
- Unsaturated fats such as olive oil
Why the Mediterranean Diet?
Nutritionist Alix Woods has explained why a nutrient-rich plan such as the Mediterranean Diet works wonders:
"Vegetables, especially colourful varieties, are full of life-enhancing micronutrients, antioxidants and fibre.
"They're essential for keeping our bodies and minds healthy. Vitamins A and C are immune boosting, skin healing and eye protecting vitamins.
"Fibre keeps your gut healthy as it encourages bowel regularity and lowers cholesterol. It also nourishes your protective gut flora and allows for slower assimilation of nutrients, increasing feelings of fullness with a steady supply of energy."
You should always consult your GP for any concerns relating to depression or other medical conditions.
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