depression

This is a bummer: Eating pasta can give you the blues

Oct. 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM ET

depression and pasta
Mike Kemp/getty images /
Can Eating Pasta Give You the Blues?

Enjoying a heavenly bowl of rigatoni can make women miserable, according to researchers from Harvard School of Public Health.

Uumm, excuse me?

The medical team surveyed the daily eating habits and took blood samples of 43,000 women who had zero history of depression over a 12-year period. Their findings: Females who consumed refined grains, as well as red meat and soda, were 29 to 42 percent more likely to suffer from depression.

“The connection here is between food, inflammation in our bodies and depression,” states Dr. Richard Besser from Good Morning America. And since previous studies suggest that inflammation is a possible cause of feeling down in the dumps, the smartypants at Harvard decided to dig deeper.

What they found was foods that caused less inflammation in the body, including wine, olive oil, coffee and green leafy vegetables, resulted in fewer bouts of depression.

Before you swear off lasagna, there were a few flaws with this study. Dr. Besser wonders if the depressed women noticed a dip in their mood before they turned to the wonderful world of carbs for comfort, making this a chicken-or-the-egg scenario.

I'm a big believer in healthy living, the relationship between food and mood, along with eating what you love in moderation. However, I have to cry foul when it comes to this pasta study. There is no other food on this planet that brings me more pleasure than pasta. Whether I’m happy, stressed, bored or giddy, just hearing the word cannelloni makes my heart skip a beat. And I think people who know me would agree that I’m a fairly upbeat person. If anything, walking away from macaroni would bring on the misery.

Amy Capetta is a contributing writer at iVillage.com. You can follow her on Twitter.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

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