The Mediterranean diet is a traditional diet that is characterised by foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed. This include large amounts of fruits and vegetables and other foods containing high amounts of antioxidants, particularly red wine. In contrast the modern Western diet is a diet that contains high amounts of processed fats, starch and sugars, and low amounts of fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is associated with a number of health benefits and these include benefits to mental health. In contrast, the Western diet is associated with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. These associations may relate to the way the diets can control or initiate inflammation, a primary cause of mood disorders. Whilst the Mediterranean diet is able to reduce inflammation and thus protect from mood disorders, the Western diet can initiate and worsen existing inflammatory conditions, and this may cause the consumer to gradually experience depressed mood and anxious feelings.
Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself
Kamali., Dastsouz, F., Sadeghi, F., Amanat, S., and Akhlaghi, M. 2016. Associations between Western and Mediterranean-type diet pattern and anxiety and stress. Acta Alimentaria.45(3): 398-405