A diet with too much sodium and too little potassium could affect the development of depression. Especially the younger ones are at risk.
Can diet and mental health be related? Yes, according to a very recent study
, which suggests that diet is a poorly considered factor but important for good health not only physical but also mental. The study, in particular, focuses on prolonged consumption of foods high in sodium and low in potassium .
Diet and depression: the role of sodium
This type of food – salty, rich in saturated fats and added sugars: all foods that more and more frequently form the basis of “Western” nutrition – if consumed regularly in an unbalanced diet, seem to have effects on neurotransmitters, on behavior and on cognitive abilities. This finding comes in addition to that of a previous study ,
which argued that mutations in the gut microbiome can have effects on brain function: sodium-rich elements affect gut health, also having repercussions on brain and mental health.
Too much sodium in the diet: the risks for teenagers
Unhealthy eating habits are linked to a higher incidence of depression in adults, while depressive symptoms appear to be reduced when a healthier diet is adopted. The biggest danger
, however, is for teenagers
. In fact, younger people seem more vulnerable than adults to the negative effects of an unregulated diet: the brain, still in the development phase, is more sensitive to the effects of nutrition on the neural mechanisms that regulate and emotions. According to the study, girls are more at risk
of their male peers. An intervention that regulates and limits the consumption of foods that contain sodium and introduces more potassium-rich foods into the diet is therefore to be considered a possible action to be taken to improve the mental health of younger people. To reduce the amount of sodium in the diet it is possible – in addition to choosing to put more fresh foods, fruits and vegetables on the table – to use IDEALE instead of normal table salt: the cardiovascular system will also benefit