Showing posts with label health benefits of eating fruits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health benefits of eating fruits. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2020

What is the relationship between eating fruits and depression?

Benefits of Eating Fruits
DEPRESSION is a big buzz across the globe!!!

According to a study reported in WHO (World Health Organization), it is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. In this world, every 1 in 6 people of the age group 10-19 years is suffering from depression. According to WHO, India is the most depressed country in the world.

What exactly is depression?

Depression is the serious medical illness that is characterized by feeling moody or sad most of the day, tired, worthless, guilty, restless, unable to concentrate on anything, difficulty making decisions, thinking about death or suicide, and sleeping too much or too less.

If there is a cost-effective method of preventing this deadly disease or improving your mental health, would you like to try it?

Data from decades of research by scientists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, and clinicians reveal that eating raw fruits and vegetables in a good amount on a regular basis will lead to fewer symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Isn’t it an easy and cheap method of getting better mental health?

What nutritional deficiencies may cause depression?

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Vitamin B complex
  4. Folate and Amino acids
  5. Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Iodine, and Selenium

Can eating fresh fruits reverse these nutritional deficiencies?

Yes. Most fruits like Apple, Apricots, peach, Bananas, Grapes, Kiwi, Mango, and others have high folic acid content and vitamin B1, B2, B6, zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamin A and C.

There are many other fruits that are rich in nutrients linked to depression prevention. So, doctors keep recommending fruits for good health. Eating fruits daily is important not only to prevent depression but because there are many health benefits of eating fruits, as discussed in the previous blog.

Hopefully, this clarifies the relationship between fruits and depression.

But, you cannot expect to absorb all the nutrients from just fruits to keep depression away. Because they are not the source of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B 12 which are essential factors linked to poor mental health.

What food products are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B 12 and D?

  1. Fish (salmon, sardines, oysters, etc.)
  2. Vegetables like sprouts, spinach
  3. Flax seeds
  4. Chia seeds
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Walnuts
  7. Soybeans
  8. Meat
  9. Cheese and Egg Yolks
  10. Dairy products from grass-fed animals
Since fruits are not the only way out, the Mediterranean diet is the getaway!

What is the connection between the Mediterranean diet and depression?

Mediterranean diet comprises - fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes (dried beans, lentils and peas), cereals, and fish - which are all important sources of B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and nutrients linked to depression prevention.

In a study (1) published online by Cambridge University Press, results showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet ensures the prevention of depression. According to this study consumption of folate, Vitamin B12 is inversely associated with depression.

So, if people with depression starts with a Mediterranean dietary pattern, they can prevent and reduce this mental disorder.

In a similar study (2) involving participants aged 65 years and above living in the Mediterranean region, it was found that people consuming the Mediterranean diet have less prevalence of depression when compared to those who did not follow the diet.

Another study (3) published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, concludes that older adults with depression have a low intake of fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants.

Again there is vast literature on this topic and most studies have reached a common conclusion that taking Mediterranean food or diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and antioxidants along with omega 3 supplements can keep depression at bay.

Wrap up
As per discussion, there are many health benefits of eating fruits including the prevention of depression. However, they only play a small role in this matter. Mediterranean diet is more beneficial than eating only fruits or supplements alone to reduce the risk of mental health disorders. So, if you are not focusing too much on fruits or vegetables in your daily diet, then it is time to change your nutritional plan. Make sure to consult your dietician for best results!

  • Sanchez-Villegas A, Henriquez P, Bes-Rastrollo M, Doreste J. Mediterranean diet and depression. Public health nutrition. 2006 Dec;9(8A):1104-9.
  • Masana MF, Haro JM, Mariolis A, Piscopo S, Valacchi G, Bountziouka V, Anastasiou F, Zeimbekis A, Tyrovola D, Gotsis E, Metallinos G. Mediterranean diet and depression among older individuals: The multinational MEDIS study. Experimental gerontology. 2018 Sep 1;110:67-72.
  • Payne ME, Steck SE, George RR, Steffens DC. Fruit, vegetable, and antioxidant intakes are lower in older adults with depression. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012 Dec 1;112(12):2022-7.