Customized Diet May Help Improve Mental Wellbeing
Previous research has suggested that the more closely a person follows a Western diet, which includes a large quantity of highly processed foods, the more at risk they are for depression and anxiety. A new study has found that customizing diets based on age and gender may help improve mental wellbeing, including depression and anxiety.
Participants in the study included 2,628 adults18 and older. Food group consumption and mental distress were evaluated using the Food-Mood Questionnaire. Data was collected during a 5-year period at different time points and seasons.
The researchers found that higher levels of mental distress in young women were associated with high consumption of caffeine and fast food. Moderate to high levels of exercise and frequent breakfast consumption were associated with lower levels of mental distress. For mature women, daily exercise, daily breakfast consumption, high consumption of fruit, and limited consumption of caffeine were associated with lower levels of mental distress.
Levels of mental distress in young men were lower in participants with high levels of exercise, moderate consumption of dairy, low consumption of caffeine and fast food, and moderate to high intake of meat. For mature men, higher education and moderate intake of nuts were associated with lower levels of mental distress.
The study was conducted by researchers from Binghamton University.It was published online ahead of print on December 23, 2020 in the journal Nutrients.