New research from the National Institutes of Health suggests that drinking sweetened beverages, especially diet drinks, is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults while drinking coffee was associated with a slightly lower risk.
Consumption of sweetened beverages, including those that are artificially sweetened, coffee and tea is common and most likely has important physical and mental health consequences.
This study enrolled 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71. Consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated for 1995 and 1996. 10 years later, the researchers asked the participants if they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000. A total of 11,311 depression diagnoses were made.
They found that the people who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda were 30% more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38% more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were around 10% less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee. Of particular interest is that the risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet soda than those who consumed regular soda and diet than regular fruit punches as well as for diet than regular iced tea.
This research suggests once again that cutting out or limiting sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened beverages, including coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk. Consumption of soft drinks, both naturally and artificially sweetened, has been linked in many other studies to increased disease risk and adverse health consequences.
The best beverage is always plain and pure water followed by unsweetened coffee and tea. Better yet is to be sure you are eating a diet based around a variety of moisture rich fruits and vegetables which provide water and essential nutrients together in a totally natural and health promoting package.
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