Which Foods Are Associated with Mood Disorders?

Researchers have investigated the effects of food and drink of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. For example, it has been shown that the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of anxiety and depression. Of the foods contained within the Mediterranean diet, whole grains and vegetables have been shown to be associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. Further, higher intakes of fruit and vegetables was associated with lower fear, which could be interpreted as a form of anxiety. Interestingly, those that do not drink have a greater risk of depression compared to those that do drink. A number of foods therefore appear to be associated with a protective effect against mood disorders. The Western diet which contains low amounts of fruit and vegetables and refined grains has consistently been shown to increase the risk of developing a mood disorder. Considering a Mediteranean diet in order to protect mental health would therefore appear to be a prudent and justified strategy for optimal mental health. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself


Gibson-Smith, D., Bot, M., Brouwer, I. A., Visser, M., Giltay, E. J. and Penninx, B. W. 2020. Association of food groups with depression and anxiety disorders. European Journal of Nutrition. 59(2): 767-778

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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