How can a poor diet impact your mental and physical health?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 17, 2022

Can a diet high in processed foods put you at a higher risk for mental and physical conditions? New research suggests that it can indeed – suggesting that an inflammatory diet is linked to depression and increased risk of frailty.

Study Summary

The study which included 1,701 participants, concluded that:

  • An inflammatory diet is associated with a higher likelihood of frailty. For those with depressive symptoms, this likelihood was higher.
  • Depressive symptoms may accelerate frailty for individuals who eat an inflammatory diet.
  • Based on exploratory data, older and middle-aged adults who consume an inflammatory diet are at a higher risk of developing both depressive symptoms and frailty at the same time.

This suggests that consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory compounds (e.g., fiber and plant-based compounds called flavonoids) may help prevent the development of frailty.

The Hearty Take

Recent research has echoed these findings, providing evidence that an anti-inflammatory diet may be preventative for frailty, while a pro-inflammatory diet may increase the risk of frailty. This new study further suggests that consuming an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fiber and polyphenols may be an antidote to depressive symptoms and frailty. All the more reason to prioritize a whole foods diet! If you are at an increased risk for depression or frailty, it appears to be even more crucial to focus on eating a diet rich in vegetables and fiber. Need help establishing a sustainable and healthy diet? Reach out to your nutritionist.

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