Evidence mounts that sunshine and Mediterranean diet are key to avoiding depression

The link between sunshine (or rather, lack of it) and depression has long been established. However, there is now growing evidence to show that diet can also play a key role in our mental health. A recent study led by UCL’s department of epidemiology and public health has found that people who stick most closely to a traditional Mediterranean diet have a 33% lower risk of developing depression in the next eight to 12 years (when compared to those whose diets least resembled the Mediterranean diet).

“There is compelling evidence to show that there is a relationship between the quality of your diet and your mental health. This relationship goes beyond the effect of diet on your body size or other aspects of health that can in turn affect your mood. We aggregated results from a large number of studies and there is a clear pattern that following a healthier, plant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet can help in the prevention of depression.”

Dr Camille Lassale, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL

The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish and low in saturated fat, sugar and processed food. Seasonal and often locally sourced, it makes for a delicious and nutritious culinary experience, as well as one that brings notable mental health benefits. In fact, it is often highlighted as a key attraction by those holidaying and buying second homes in countries such as Spain, according to leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España.

“Spain’s gastronomic offering is a real strong point for visitors. With a temperate climate year-round, the Costa del Sol is blessed with plenty of fresh, local food throughout the year, while the coastal location introduces plenty of options in terms of sparklingly fresh sea food.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

When it comes to food, it’s hard to decide whether Spain is most well-known for its national dish, paella, or for its style of eating: tapas. Adapted to each season, tapas excite the sense with a wide range of typically Spanish scents and flavours, including fried fish with olive oil, garlic prawns, anchovies in vinegar, slivers of unimaginably delicious ham from acorn-fed pigs, vegetable dishes such as aubergine with honey, potato omelette, patatas bravas and plenty more.

Each area of Spain also has its own regional tastes. Valencians are fiercely protective of their ‘official’ recipe for paella. Those visiting Andalusia, meanwhile, can enjoy the simple, salty richness of salmorejo – a tomato/bread soup garnished with chopped, hard-boiled egg and ham. Gazpacho, of course, is also a must. In the winter months, bowls of thick, rich stew are the perfect way to keep warm as the evenings close in.

Those seeking out Spain’s fabulous combination of sunshine and healthy diet will be delighted by the properties available at La Floresta Sur in Elviria, Marbella. Available from Taylor Wimpey España, the spacious apartments have two or three bedrooms and large terraces, which are perfect for enjoying long, relaxing meals on after a day spent working up an appetite in the site’s two large pools. Prices start from €228,000 plus VAT.

La Floresta Sur’s delightfully appointed terraces are also the ideal spot in which to enjoy a glass of local wine while enjoying the spectacular views. The Costa del Sol boasts plenty of superb wines at vastly affordable prices, particularly compared to how much those living in the UK have to fork out for a decent bottle. The delightfully dry ‘fino’ (‘refined’) sherry is also readily available from the nearby Jerez de la Frontera sherry-producing region.

“Spain offers a real culinary adventure for those who want to try the local delicacies. In the Marbella area, there are plenty of outstanding seafood dishes to try, but also classics like oxtail in red wine sauce. The deserts are also fabulous – be sure to try tarta malagueña and the deep fried, sugary borrachuelos.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit http://www.taylorwimpeyspain.com/. If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.