Ever suspected that your food may be affecting the way you feel? Namely, your mood? Well new research out of Spain has confirmed a link between fast food consumption and depression. Even though fatty foods can temporarily boost our mood, the longterm affects are doing more harm than good on our mental – and physical – health.
The study observed 8,964 participants over the course of six months, especially taking into account their eating habits. Researchers found that those who consumed fast food were 51 percent more likely to develop depression. And among that group, those who ate more fast food were at even greater risk for suffering from depression.
The study also revealed the type of person who is most likely to be a junk food eater. Researchers found a trend among single, inactive people with poor eating habits, such as eating minimal fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. This demographic, said researchers, also tended to be smokers who worked more than 45 hours a week.
The study, which was published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, also revealed that while none of the participants had ever been diagnosed with depression or taken any kind of anti-depressants before the study, by the end of the six-month observation period, nearly 500 were diagnosed with depression and prescribed mild anti-depressants.
In addition to traditional fast food, scientists say that even small quantities of heavily processed foods, such as packaged cakes, hot dogs and cookies, are also found to put people at a significantly higher risk for developing depression. DietsInReview.com’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, points out that this doesn’t include minimally processed foods such as bagged salads, roasted nuts, canned tuna, frozen fruit, natural nut butters, and tomato sauce, etc.
This study comes from the same group of Spanish researchers who through previous research, determined that trans fats and saturated fats have been linked to increased depression risk, while olive oil can help protect against mental illness.
If it’s not obvious enough already, fast food and processed, pre-packaged foods don’t do our body any good. The types of food we should look for instead to improve our mood include those containing Vitamin D – which has been linked to improved mood. Foods high in vitamin D include cheese, egg yolks and fatty fish. And some other key nutrients we can look for include vitamin B12 and folic acid, which can be found in beans, spinach, dairy and lean poultry.
Other natural mood boosters include caffeine or a small treat such as a square of dark chocolate. But in short, feed your body junk, and it will treat you like junk. But feed your body well and it will treat you well in return.
source: yahoo news