Diet & Depression
  • MedPsych Integrated

Diet & Depression


Depression is an issue that many individuals across the world struggle with. There are multiple factors that contribute to the onset of depression. The nurture vs nature, or environment vs genetics debate is ongoing but most will agree that the onset of depression is a more often than not a culmination of both. An often overlooked contributor to depression is diet.


What is the link?


Sugar: there is a link between increased sugar consumption and depression prevalence.

Processes food based diets:  puts individuals at a significantly higher risk of depression onset within 5 years in comparison to whole food diets.

Western Diet: red meat, processed mean, refined grains, sugars, high fat food and low intake of fresh fruits and vegetables increase your risk for depression.


What can you do about it?


The recommended diet to assist in protecting against depressed mood is the Mediterranean diet. This diet is centered around consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and healthy fats like olive oil. While this is not a guarantee you will avoid depression it is one step in the right direction.


If you or a loved one has depression or symptoms of depression, its best to be evaluated by a healthcare professional.


Westover AN, Marangell LB. A cross-national relationship between sugar consumption and major depression? Depress Anxiety 2002; 16: 118–20.

Akbaraly TN, Brunner EJ, Ferrie JE, Marmot MG, Kivimaki M, Singh-Manoux A: Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age. Br J Psychiatry. 2009, 195: 408-413.

Sanchez-Villegas A, Henriquez P, Bes-Rastrollo M, Doreste J. Mediterranean diet and depression. Public Health Nutr. 2006;9(8A):1104-1109

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