People who follow a Mediterranean diet high in vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains and fish could be less likely to develop depression. Over the course of their lives people in Mediterranean countries are less likely to develop mental-health problems than people from Northern Europe and previous research has suggested that olive oil may play a part in this. Researchers from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria studied 10,094 people from Spain who filled out food questionnaires. After about 4 years the participants were followed up to see whether they developed depression. People who stuck most closely to the Mediterranean diet had a 30% lower risk of depression and this remained true even when other factors involved in a healthy lifestyle were taken into account. A Mediterranean diet is known to improve blood-vessel function, fight inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease - all factors that have been linked to depression.
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