People who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in monounsaturated fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and fish) have a reduced risk of developing depression, according to Spanish research. A cohort of 10,094 healthy participants completed a food frequency questionnaire, on which basis researchers calculated their adherence to a Mediterranean diet. After four and a half years of follow-up, 480 new cases of depression were identified. Individuals who adhered to the Mediterranean diet most closely had a more than 30% reduction in the risk of depression than those who had the lowest Mediterranean diet scores. The authors speculate that components of the diet may improve blood vessel function, fight inflammation, reduce risk for heart disease and repair oxygen-related cell damage, all of which may decrease the chances of developing depression.

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