(NaturalNews) Women who eat a typical Western diet high in junk food may increase their risk of suffering from mood disorders such as depression, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Melbourne and published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Researchers gathered psychiatric evaluations of 925 women between the ages of 20 to 93 over the course of ten years, then compared them to data collected on the participants' diets. They found that women who ate a diet high in white bread, hamburgers, pizza, chips, beer, flavored dairy beverages and sugary foods were 50 percent more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety than women who did not eat such a diet.
In contrast, women who ate what the researchers classified as a traditional Australian diet, high in vegetables, fruit, beef, lamb, fish and whole grains, were 30 percent less likely to suffer from mood disorders than women who did not follow the Australian diet.
The connections between the diets and the risk of mood disorders remained strong even after researchers adjusted for potential confounding factors such as education, age, socioeconomic status, weight, physical activity, and alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Initially, the researchers found a lowered risk of mood disorders in women who consumed large quantities of salads, fruits, fish, tofu, beans, nuts, yogurt and red wine, but this association disappeared after they adjusted for confounding factors.
Although cautioning that there is no such thing as a "magic diet," researcher Felice Jacka noted that the evidence suggests that a healthy diet reduces your risk of mood disorders as well as improving your physical health.
Another recent study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found that among 3,486 middle-aged women and men, those who ate a diet primarily composed of vegetables, fruits and fish were significantly less likely to be depressed than those who primarily ate refined ("white") grains, processed meats, fried food, sweetened desserts and high-fat dairy products.
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