About 265 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is, however, one of the most preventable health issues. That is, according to the World Health Organization. Eating more fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of depression. This has been proven in more and more studies.
If you eat healthily, you feel better too. Sounds logical, right? Experts have suspected for some time that there is a correlation between an unhealthy diet and depression. In recent years, it seems these suspicions are being increasingly confirmed. The consumption of fruit and vegetables, in particular, seems to play the most important role in this.
In 2016, The International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences published a paper. They had done extensive research into fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of depression. The study included ten major studies, with a combined total of almost 450,000 participants. This research showed that eating fruit and vegetables can have a significant association with a decreased chance of depression. Some participants who ate a lot of fruit and vegetables. These people had at least a 14% lower risk of depression.
Effect on the brain
This finding is in line with what researchers at the University of Toronto found. They discovered that fruit and vegetables contain essential nutrients. These nutrients affect brain chemistry. This, in turn, influences a person's mood, memory, and cognitive abilities. Their results further showed that men get depressed faster in certain instances. They tend to get depressed when their diet consists of fatty food and low omega-3 intake. Not eating enough fruit and vegetables is linked to developing depression in both men and women.