Anu Ruusunen, MSc, said that the study reinforces the hypothesis that a healthy diet has potential not only in the warding off of depression, but also in its prevention.
Depressed individuals often have a poor quality of diet and decreased intake of nutrients.
A healthy diet characterized by vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese was linked with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms and a lower risk of depression during the follow-up period.
Increased intake of folate was also associated with a decreased risk of depression. Vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, meat and liver are the most important dietary sources of folate.
In addition, increased coffee consumption was non-linearly associated with a decreased risk of depression.
In addition, participation in a three-year lifestyle intervention study improved depression scores with no specific group effect. Furthermore, a reduction in the body weight was associated with a greater reduction in depressive symptoms.
The study was based on the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart.
The original articles were published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, European Journal of Nutrition, Public.