High fiber intake may reduce the risk for symptoms from depression, according to a study published in Nutrition. Researchers reviewed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and compared diet records with depression questionnaire results. Those who consumed 21 grams of fiber per day from fruits, vegetables, and all sources were less likely to exhibit depressive symptoms, compared with those who consumed less fiber. A possible mechanism is fiber’s ability to alter the gut microbiota to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. The authors call for initiatives to increase consumption of high-fiber foods among adults to prevent depression, as the average daily intakes of fiber are far less than the recommended amounts.
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Xu H, Li S, Song X, Li Z, Zhang D. Exploration of the association between dietary fiber intake and depressive symptoms in adults. Nutrition. Published online March 21, 2018.