Improper diet increases the risk of depression

Improper diet increases the risk of depression

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How our diet can contribute to depression

If we eat too little fruit and vegetables in our diet, this increases the risk of depression. Various ingredients of the vegetable diet seem to offer a clear protective effect, according to a recent study.

The latest study by the University of Toronto found that people are more likely to develop depression if they eat too little fruit and vegetables. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "BMC Psychiatry".

How fats and omega-3 fatty acids affect men

Eating little fruit and vegetables increased the likelihood of depression. Men were also more likely to be depressed if they ate more fat or less eggs containing omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fruit and vegetables was associated with protection against depression in the study. This also confirms the results of previous studies.

Why do fruits and vegetables protect against depression?

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components in fruits and vegetables could explain the protective effect. Various vitamins and minerals (e.g. magnesium, zinc, selenium) in fruits and vegetables can reduce the plasma concentration of so-called C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation that is also associated with depression.

Effects from omega-3 fatty acids?

It is quite plausible that an increased omega-3 fatty acid concentration in food has an impact on the cell membrane fluidity of the central nervous system and the phospholipid composition, which changes the structure and function of the embedded proteins and influences the neurotransmission of serotonin and dopamine the researchers.

Do Depression Favor Chronic Pain?

Depression was associated with chronic pain and at least one chronic complaint in men and women. The researchers emphasize that people should be aware of the connection between mind and body, so better mental health could reduce chronic pain.

Education and income have an impact on risk of depression

In addition to nutrition, there are other influences in life that are important for the mental health of older people and these should also be taken into account, such as education and income, the research team continued.

Migrant women were more likely to develop depression

The Canadian study also found that migrants from middle age are more likely to experience depression than women born in Canada. According to the researchers, a connection between immigration and depression could be due to many factors. However, the connection was only found in women, not in men.

Possible explanation for increased risk among migrant women

There was insufficient data to determine why there was such a gender difference in people with a migrant background. For example, it is possible that with older couples, the husband initiated the move to another country and the wives had no real choice as to whether they wanted to leave their home and friends. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Karen M. Davison, Yu Lung, Shen (Lamson) Lin, Hongmei Tong, Karen M. Kobayashi, Esme Fuller-Thomson: Depression in middle and older adulthood: the role of immigration, nutrition, and other determinants of health in the Canadian longitudinal study on aging, in BMC Psychiatry (query: 13.11.2019), BMC Psychiatry

Video: Prevention of Depression (May 2022).