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Can The Mediterranean Diet Make Us Happier?

 Can The Mediterranean Diet Make Us Happier?

Happy Lifestyle, the Mediterranean one!

Research suggests the Mediterranean Diet doesn’t just promote a healthy body, but can actually make us happier, too. The diet has been touted by the American Heart Association, as a heart-healthy, cancer-fighting, diabetes-prevention eating plan. But can it also boost our mood?

The study compares how foods from a traditional Mediterranean diet (specifically vegetables, fruit, olive oil, legumes, and nuts) affect the overall mood when compared to a modern Western diet heavy in sweets, soda, and fast food.

Participants who ate plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, olive oil, nuts, and legumes were much happier than those who chowed down on desserts, soda, and fast food, why?

 

The healthy fats present in the Mediterranean diet may be the key to a good mood. Changes in levels of BNDF, a protein that controls many brain functions, may contribute to mental disorders like schizophrenia and depression. Several studies show:

·      Eating food rich in omega-3 fatty acids — found in fish and some nuts — can help stabilize BNDF levels . 

·      Participants with depression who stuck to a Mediterranean diet had consistently higher levels of BNDF.

·      Fresh fruits, vegetables, and plenty of greens are good for mental health, too. Polyphenols, compounds found in plant-based foods, can positively affect brain cognition.

In a nearly 10-year survey, researchers found that greater fruit and vegetable intake was linked to lower odds of mood disorders like depression, distress, and anxiety

So consider putting down the processed stuff and whipping up some stuffed grape leaves for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatist/2014/02/27/mediterranean-diet-happiness/