Friday, November 6, 2009

Processed Food Linked to Depression

(BBC Health Summary)

I'm not sure if it could be any clearer that eating healthy foods improves your health, and eating processed 'junk' food is bad for your health - both mental and physical. Our bodily systems are all intertwined and interrelated, so anything we put into our body has the ability to help or hinder every aspect of our well being. Well, to add more evidence to this body of work, British researchers have found that diets higher in processed, junk or fast foods are linked to a higher incidence of depression versus a diet rich in whole foods.

The British researchers surveyed 3,500 participants who were split into two groups - those who ate a diet mainly based on whole foods, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables and fish, and those who ate a mainly processed food diet, such as sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products.

The researchers followed up on these participants 5 years later and found that the individuals who ate the most whole foods had a 26% lower risk of future depression than those who at the least whole foods. By contrast, those individuals who ate a diet high in processed food had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate little or no processed foods.

If you aren't already eating a Mediterranean-style diet - high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds and other healthy fats, lean protein and fish - get on it! There is no greater investment in life than in your own health.

Check out the article "Depression link to processed food" from BBC Health (Nov. 2, 2009).