Mediterranean Diet May Protect Against Depressive Symptoms

Gigantes Beans

I am inclined to say that this is getting ridiculous. What, you ask? Well the fact that there are so many new studies coming out about the Mediterranean diet that I can’t write about them in time. So while I love sharing recipes and mixing things up on this blog, this week is more about studies and not recipes. So here goes: Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago wanted to see if a Mediterranean style diet can affect the appearance of depressive symptoms in the elderly. The participants were over 65 years old, lived in Chicago and were followed for about 7 years. The results showed that the individuals who adhered the most to a Mediterranean style diet had a much lower risk of developing depressive symptoms. How much lower? Well, I am quoting the researchers: ” The annual rate of developing depressive symptoms was 98.6% lower among persons in the highest tertile of a Mediterranean-based dietary pattern compared with persons in the lowest tertile group. Impressive. The study was published in the The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

And while we are on the topic, let me just quickly bring up another study. This study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions. This small study that included 19 men between the ages of 24 to 62  who had metabolic syndrome, a syndrome characterized by three or more significant risk factors for heart disease and stroke such as abdominal fat and high blood pressure. For five weeks, the men followed a standard North American diet and for a second five weeks, they ate a Mediterranean-style diet. After testing the results showed that regardless of whether patients lost weight, following the Mediterranean-style diet resulted in a 9 percent decrease in levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) known as “bad” cholesterol.

Photo for flickr by Robyn Lee

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