We’ve all got that one meal that’s guaranteed to lift the spirits (home-cooked lasagne, for the win.) But despite what you (and my Dad) might argue, it’s actually got nothing to do with the taste. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that with the right food you can, quite literally, eat your way to a good day.
They analyzed 41 studies on the link between nutrition and mental health and noticed that certain ingredients consistently increased the wellbeing of those who consumed them. Specifically, avocados, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens, walnuts, seeds, and beans – most of which feature heavily in the Mediterranean diet.
“Especially the omega three fatty acids – those are known to have pretty clear effects with depression,” one of the lead researchers, Charles Conway, explained.
In fact, they found that this eating regime (which also includes a high intake of fresh fish, olive oil, lots of plant foods and the odd glass of vino) could reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease by up to 33 percent. It’s no wonder it was recently named the best diet of 2019.
Still, Conway stresses the importance of regular movement – a key component of the active lifestyle those in Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Cyprus are famous for.
“Pushing yourself to exercise probably helps with some degree of mood improvement,” Conway said.
We’re willing to bet the wine helps too.
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This article originally appeared on Women's Health.