Evidence shows that the Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It is also associated with improved mood and a reduced risk of depression and cognitive decline.
The eating plan emphasises vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, wholegrains, olive oil and lean protein.
An offshoot is the Mind Diet (Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), based on the same foods but adds berries, leafy greens and nuts. Researchers found it improved cognitive ability and lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s. Foods to consider :
People who eat omega-3-rich fish tend to have a lower risk of depression.
People who take probiotics have a more positive outlook than people not taking them.
Spinach, chard and other dark leafy greens contain magnesium, which can boost your mood. Add magnesium-rich pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, chickpeas and beans to your meals.
Blueberries help activate brain pathways associated with better cognition and less cellular ageing, and they are associated with having a more positive mood.
They are high in zinc. Being deficient in zinc is linked to depression. Other good sources include crab, beef, beans, chickpeas and cashews.
Cocoa can shake off bad moods and in fact put people in a happy mood.
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.