A latest study has suggested that, people who eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains to reduce hypertension may also have lower rates of depression over time.
Researchers in the US followed nearly 1,000 people of an average age of 81 for more than six years monitoring their diet and mood.
The study found that people whose diets adhered more closely to the “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) diet were less likely to develop depression than people who did not closely follow the diet.
The healthy DASH diet plan was developed to lower blood pressure without medication in research sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
The study was conducted by the scientists from American Academy of Neurology.
In addition to fruit and vegetables, the DASH diet recommends fat-free or low-fat dairy products and limits foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar.
Studies have shown health benefits such as lowering high blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL), along with lowering body weight.
The patients were monitored for symptoms of depression such as being bothered by things that usually didn’t affect them and feeling hopeless about the future.
They also filled out questionnaires about how often they ate various foods.
People in the groups that followed Dash most closely were less likely to develop depression than people in the group that did not follow the diet closely.
In contrast, the more closely people followed a Western diet – a diet that is high in saturated fats and red meats and low in fruits and vegetables – the more likely they were to develop depression.