“The seven habits that prevent depression” may sound like a headline for a clickbait listicle, but it’s actually the conclusion of an evidence-based article just published in the journal, Nature Mental Health. Using data from the large UK Biobank, the nine-year investigation found that sticking to a healthy lifestyle—like eating well, exercising, and staying socially active—can significantly lower the risk of depression, regardless of genetic predisposition.
Combining all of the factors reviewed in the paper lowered the chances of feeling depressed by an impressive 57 percent. In brief, here are the highlights:
LESS ALCOHOL, GREATER SPIRITS
Moderate drinking, like a daily glass of wine or mug of beer, was associated with an 11 percent decreased risk of depression. But heavy drinking is another story. It’s well established that alcohol overconsumption leads to greater odds of depression. Excessive alcohol intake may lead to oxidative stress, neuroadaptive changes, and differences in brain structure and function, all of which are associated with mental health disorders, the study suggested. The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that women have no more than one drink a day and men have no more than two drinks daily.