According to a study exploring the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, drinking a glass of wine every day could keep low moods away.
The research is part of a broader investigation into the Mediterranean diet, which followed 5,500 light to moderate drinkers over a period of five years. Results showed that men and women who drank two to seven glasses of wine a week were less prone to depression than people who didn’t drink at all.
The findings remain significant because the outcome was the same even when other factors such as smoking, marital status and diet were taken into account.
Mediterranean people are renowned for their food and wine. While olive oil, fish, fruit and nuts are known to have a number of positive health benefits, opinions on alcohol have been split.
Although the results do show that those with a low to medium alcohol consumption were less likely to develop depression than non-drinkers, lead researcher Miguel Ángel Martínez-González of the University of Navarra has warned people not to use alcohol as a preventative measure.
He said: “If you are not a drinker, please don’t start drinking. If you drink alcohol, please keep it in the range of one or less drinks a day and consider drinking wine instead of other alcoholic beverages.”
Participants were aged between 55 and 80, an age group found to have relatively high levels of depression in general.
The so-called Mediterranean diet has slowly been phasing out over the past few decades, with healthy salads, fresh fish and olive oil being replaced by processed foods influenced by the American diet. While a Mediterranean diet has been found to reduce the risk of cardio-vascular disease by as much as 30%, a fast food diet is thought to dramatically increase it.
Today one in three Spanish children between the ages of 13 and 14 are classed as overweight, suggesting that it might be worth the country taking a culinary history lesson and reverting back to their more traditional recipes.
Alcohol is a depressant and as such should be consumed with care. If you would like to know more about the effects of alcohol on the body, please visit our Alcoholism page. If you would like to know how to treat depression, please visit our Depression page.
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