Diet Impacts Mental Health of Women More Than Men: Study

Women may need a larger spectrum of nutrients to support mood, compared to men, as per the study.

Published
Fit
2 min read
The study emphasizes the role of a nutrient-dense diet in mental well-being.
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Women may need a more nutrient-rich diet than men to maintain positive emotional well-being, according to a new study.

Researchers from Binghamton University in the US conducted an anonymous survey of 563 participants (48 per cent men and 52 per cent women) through social media.

They found that men are more likely to experience mental well-being until nutritional deficiencies arise. Women, however, are less likely to experience mental well-being unless a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are followed.

The study may explain reports from previous studies that show women are at a greater risk for mental distress when compared to men.

Depression is often linked with feelings of ending one’s life. In addition, there may be a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or even committing suicide.

While depression is more common in women, men are more likely to attempt suicide.

The study emphasizes the role of a nutrient-dense diet in mental well-being.

The biggest takeaway is that women may need a larger spectrum of nutrients to support mood, compared to men. These findings may explain the reason why women are twice more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression and suffer from longer episodes, compared to men. Today’s diet is high in energy but poor in key nutrients that support brain anatomy and functionality.
Lina Begdache, Assistant Professor, Binghamton University
Women may need a larger spectrum of nutrients to support mood, compared to men, as per the study.
Women may need a larger spectrum of nutrients to support mood, compared to men, as per the study.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Evidence suggests that our ancestors’ diet, which was a high-energy-nutrient-dense diet, contributed significantly to brain volumes and cognitive evolution of mankind, said Begdache.

Males and females had different physical and emotional responsibilities that may have necessitated different energy requirements and food preference.
Lina Begdache

Gender-based differential food and energy intake may explain the differential brain volumes and connectivity between females and males, researchers said.

The study was published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.

(With inputs from PTI)

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