19/09/2015 3:28 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Healthy Eating Protects Against Depression, Study Finds

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fresh salmon fillet with fresh healthy herbs,vegetables, oil and spices on rustic wooden background, top view

It seems that #cleaneaters can have their kale and eat it too, as a new study suggests healthy dietary patterns play a protective role against depression.

The study focussed on the Mediterranean diet, the Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern and the Alternative Eating Index-2010 to determine to the role of nutrition in our mental health.

"These diets are all associated with physical health benefits and now we find they could have a positive effect on our mental health,” said lead researcher Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain.

The Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010, which features a balance of vegetables, fruit, whole grain bread, nuts, legumes, long-chain omega-3 and polyunsaturated fatty acids, was the most successful, however better adherence to all three diets correlated with reduced risk of depression.

The Mediterranean diet is often considered to be the world's healthiest diet -- emphasising primarily plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It replaces butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavour foods.

The Pro-vegetarian Dietary Pattern similarly is high in plant based foods -- at least half your plate -- and has been shown to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

If health and happiness aren’t enough to convince you to forgo your post-pub pizza, here’s some delicious nutritious food to inspire you.

Greens at @treicafe 🙌🏻

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When your craving a little pish.... ✌️😙✌️🐡🍙🍱🍜

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Can't wait for the travel bit ✌ Happy Tuesday x #healthynatty #healthynothard

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