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Can what you eat affect your mental health? New research links diet and the mind
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post


Washington Post, March 24, 2014
Posted: March 31st, 2014
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-wh...

Scientists have recently begun to investigate [whether] food can have as powerful an impact on the mind as it does on the body. Research exploring the link between diet and mental health is a very new field; the first papers only came out a few years ago, said Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia. But the results are unusually consistent, and they show a link between diet quality and mental health. Diet quality refers to the kinds of foods that people eat, how often they eat them and how much of them they eat. In several studies ... Berk and his collaborators have found lower rates of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern Western diet heavy with processed and fast foods or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads. Traditional diets the kinds of foods your grandmother would have recognized have been associated with a lower risk of mental health issues, Berk said. The association between diet and mental well-being may start even before birth. A 2013 study of more than 23,000 mothers and their children, led by Berks frequent collaborator and Deakin colleague Felice Jacka, suggests a link between a mothers consumption of sweets and processed foods during pregnancy and behavioral and mental health issues in her child at age 5.

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