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A long-term study has linked a diet rich in pasta and other carbohydrates to both depression and inflammation.

More than 43,000 women with no history of depression participated in the 12-year study by the Harvard School of Public Health. They were asked about their diet and eating habits and gave blood samples.

It was found that the women who ate a lot of pasta, chips, bread, red meat and soft drinks were 29 to 41 percent more prone to depression. Blood tests revealed that women who ate the no-no foods also tested significantly higher for three biomarkers of inflammation. Unfortunately, these biomarkers point toward illnesses such as heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes, according to Science World Report. The results were published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Dr. Michel Lucas, the lead researcher of the study, couldn't explain the exact reason for the adverse effect of carbohydrates on the body's immune system and psychological health, or the apparent link between inflammation and depression. But he did recommend consuming food and drinks like fish, olive oil, wine and fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables and carrots, which could aid in improving inflammation and mood. The so-called “Mediterranean diet,” heavy in olive oil as well as fish and vegetables, has been linked to lower rates of depression, according to Prevention.

On the plus side, the study doesn't say you have to forgo pasta entirely, which would really be depressing. If you're feeling glum, pasta with anchovies and olives and a glass of wine just might be the ticket.


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LA Weekly