In contrast, the University of Eastern Finland’s study of more than 2,000 men over a 13-year period found that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables helped to ward off the blues.
“The study reinforces the hypothesis a healthy diet has potential not only in the warding off of depression, but also in its prevention,” said study nutritionist Anu Ruusunen from Eastern Finland University.
Sufferers of depression have long been believed to eat poorly and consume fewer vitamins and nutrients as a result of their gloomy disposition, but it has not yet been ascertained whether there is a direct link between diet and depression in healthy people.
The study found that those who enjoyed a diet full of vegetables, fruits, berries, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheeses suffered less symptoms of depression and were at a far lesser risk of the condition during the 13 years of follow-up testing.
The ‘junk food diet’ referred to a diet full of processed meats (including sausages), sugary drinks, snacks and desserts. Middle-aged men who followed this type of diet were at a higher risk of depression due to a lack of essential nutrients.
The study was published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics