You Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety By Following This Popular Diet

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A recent study from the University of South Australia, published in Nutrients journal, confirms the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for overall health. In addition to its known advantages in reducing the risks of various diseases such as heart disease, bowel cancer, and dementia, the diet has been found to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Diet can reduce stress levels and anxiety

The study conducted with the University of the Sunshine Coast examined the effects of a Mediterranean diet on mental health in 294 elderly Australians aged 60 and above. The research concluded that adhering to this diet decreased anxiety and stress levels regardless of factors such as gender, age, sleep patterns, and BMI.

Furthermore, specific components of the diet, including fruits, nuts, legumes, and limited intake of sugary drinks (less than 250 mL per day), were found to particularly alleviate anxiety and stress symptoms.

Anxiety affects over 301 million people worldwide, with 1 in 4 Australians experiencing it in their lifetime. Dr. Evangeline Mantzioris, a leading dietitian and researcher at UniSA, highlights the Mediterranean diet’s potential to enhance mental health and overall well-being amidst a growing aging population globally.

Lifestyle choices, particularly diet, are increasingly recognized as factors that can influence mental health. The Mediterranean diet, known for its benefits in reducing chronic disease risk and promoting healthy aging, has been highlighted in this context.

Adherence to Mediterranean diet reduces anxiety

Mantzioris said that their recent study found that adherence to this diet in older adults led to decreased symptoms of stress and anxiety, independent of age, gender, BMI, sleep, or exercise habits. This suggests that adopting the Mediterranean diet could be a simple yet effective way to enhance mental well-being.

A Mediterranean diet emphasizes an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, and olive oil. It recommends including fish and seafood at least twice a week, while allowing for daily, moderate servings of dairy and lean proteins. The diet advises limited intake of red meats and processed foods.

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