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Diet Strongly Associated with Mental Health for Women

The foods you eat can influence your mood. For example, sugar and processed foods have been associated with contributing to anxiety and depression. Fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with boosting mental health. According to a new study, women’s mental health has a higher association with diet than men.

1,209 adults over the age of 30 participated in the study. The Food–Mood Questionnaire was used to collect food consumption and mood information. Participants were classified as having a healthy dietary pattern or an unhealthy dietary pattern.

In general, participants who followed a health dietary pattern and exercised regularly had higher mental well-being. For women participants, those who followed an unhealthy dietary pattern had higher mental distress than men who followed an unhealthy dietary pattern.

A healthy dietary pattern for women included eating breakfast, whole grains, dairy, fruits, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, moderate caffeine consumption, fish, and fish oil. An unhealthy dietary pattern included fast food, skipping breakfast, high-glycemic foods, and high caffeine consumption.

The study was conducted by researchers from Binghamton University. It was published online ahead of print on May 19, 2021 in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

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