Depression: the Mediterranean diet protects the elderly. Following a lifelong Mediterranean diet can protect seniors from depression, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association .
Depression: the Mediterranean diet protects the elderly
The Mediterranean diet, also called Cretan diet or Mediterranean diet, is a traditional food practice in several countries around the Mediterranean Sea characterized by abundant consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains , aromatic herbs, olive oil, fish and dairy products, moderate consumption of eggs and wine, and low meat consumption.
Depression in the elderly is common
A team of researchers, led by psychiatrist Konstantinos Argyropoulos, conducted a study among Greek elderly people. Among the participants, 64% said that they follow a Mediterranean diet from a distance, and 34% agree to complete this type of diet. Nearly a quarter of them had depressive symptoms, with women being more affected.
The team found that a diet that was richer in vegetables and lower in poultry and alcohol was associated with a decreased likelihood of developing depressive symptoms. “Our results confirm that depression in the elderly is common and strongly associated with several risk factors, “conclude the authors.” Adherence to a Mediterranean diet may protect against the development of depressive symptoms in old age, “they add.
No causal link
The study does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship, as people with depression also have more difficulty maintaining a healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet, designated as the best diet to be followed by many nutritionists, has also demonstrated its benefits on physical performance, cognitive health, cardiovascular risk, pregnancy, breast cancer , osteoporosis, quality of life and health. sperm , menopause, cirrhosis of the liver, IVF or overweight.