A Mediterranean diet could help prevent depression and support mental health, says a new study.
Researchers from the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project which began in 1999, found out that a diet with fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and olive oil could prevent the occurrence of depression.
The participants of the study followed three diets namely the Mediterranean Diet, Pro-Dietary Pattern and the Alternative Health Eating Index - 2010.
Researchers ranked how well participants followed a given diet with a scoring system placing and compared those scores with results of depression diagnoses from start to finish.
The study found that better compliance on the three diets are similar and linked to reduce the risk of depression.
The researchers concluded that omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, nuts and vegetables could cut the risk of depression.
Dr. Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria said, "We wanted to understand what role nutrition plays in mental health, as we believe certain dietary patterns could protect our minds."
"These diets are all associated with physical health benefits and now we find that they could have a positive effect on our mental health. The protective role is ascribed to the foods' nutritional properties, where nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables, all sources of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, could reduce the risk of depression," he added.
The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.