Researchers found a strong connection between DASH diet and the risk of depression. New research suggests that people who eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products help to fight depression over time. While past research has shown – People who follow the so-called DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has already effective in reducing hypertension, weight-loss, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of many cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to fruits and veggies, the DASH diet emphasis on a good amount of nutrient-rich food like fat-free or low-fat dairy products, poultry, lean meats, fish, beans, seeds, nuts and recommend to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, salt, and sugar.
According to a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center – People who followed DASH diet had a lower chance of developing depression and may benefit mental health.
For the study, researchers’ assessed 964 participants with the average age of 81 for 6.5 years and tracked them annually for symptoms of depression. The participants also provided information about their diet, which was used to separate them into three groups: the DASH diet, the Mediterranean diet (a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein), and a traditional Western diet (a diet high in saturated fats and red meats, and low in fruits and vegetables).
The results indicated that those who followed the DASH diet closely were the least likely to develop depression than people who did not closely follow the diet.
“Making a lifestyle change – such as changing your diet – is often preferred over taking medications, so we wanted to see if diet could be an effective way to reduce the risk of depression.” said study author Dr. Laurel Cherian, a vascular neurologist and assistant professor in Rush University.
In this study, Cherian also cleared that the study does not prove that the DASH diet leads to a reduced risk of depression; it only shows an association.
“Future studies are now needed to confirm these results and to determine the best nutritional components of the DASH diet to prevent depression later in life and to best help people keep their brains healthy,” Cherian said.
The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th annual meeting in Los Angeles, April 21 to 27, 2018.