Depression: What you eat can cut risk

Depression: What you eat can cut risk

For those Bengalureans who are growing veggies in their backyard or on their terrace garden, there's even more reason to rejoice. And to keep growing more of those.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet that lay emphasis on eating fruits and vegetables, among certain other things, isn't just good for bringing down blood pressure but lowering the risk for depression as well, according to a new study.

So all that talk about food influencing our mood is being proved right. Again and again.

"We have also witnessed about 10 per cent reduction in such cases," says Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, chief clinical dietician, Apollo Hospitals.

Many Bangaloreans are on the path of wellness but get confused by a variety of diets. "This is a good diet for a healthy living, whatever be the cuisine,'' Dr Priyanka affirms.

For the uninitiated, the DASH diet lay emphasis on eating fruits and vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy, lean meats apart from avoiding foods high in salt and sugar.

It emphasises on using low sodium and calls for foods rich in nutrients, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium that help lower blood pressure.

So how does this diet works towards good mental health? Corporate Nutritionist Parvathy N Menon, says, "DASH diet makes you reduce the intake of salt and when you avoid excess salt, you brain activity improves. Moreover, the fruits and vegetables that you consume provide good fibre to the body and improve kidney function."

According to her, this food plan also helps in overall weight loss that come with the reduction of excess salt in the body.

"When it comes to daily cooking, one should restrict salt intake to one teaspoon for the whole day. Avoid ketchups, salad dressing, salted pickles and 'papad' apart from canned food. For salads, use extra virgin olive oil for dressing," she advises.

Meanwhile, in the category of best diets overall, DASH diet has been topping the charts for a while now. According to US News and World Report, it has dominated the rankings as the best overall plan for many consecutive years now.

"It is important to adapt DASH diet especially if one has hypertension since it is extremely effective and gives great results," Dr Priyanka adds.

Behind the diet

DASH diet was formulated by the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to reduce blood pressure.


Diet and depression


People whose diets adhered more closely to DASH diet were less likely to develop depression than those who did not closely follow the diet.
(According to a study conducted out of Rush University Medical Center, Chicago)



In plenty Wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.


In moderate amount

Fish, poultry and legumes.


In small amount

Some nuts and seeds a few times a week.

No fatty red meat, sugary treats and alcohol.  

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