This new study suggests that the benefits of fruit would be more effective than vegetables to prevent depression in women in their fifties.
Eating fruits and vegetables is good for health! But which ones are most effective? Fruits or vegetables? A new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that to prevent depression, eating fruit is more effective. In room 2 a day would be enough.
Many studies show the benefits of fruits and vegetables on health. “The consumption of fruits and vegetables is inversely associated with cardiovascular risk and those with the highest intake of green vegetables have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” say the authors of the article. “The EPIC study suggests that eating fruit has a modest effect on certain cancers (mouth, esophagus, colon, lung) and vegetable intake reduces the risk of breast cancer.”
Depression is the most common mental illness:
It affects nearly 3 million people in France and women are two times more affected than men. “More and more studies are interested in the possible role of certain nutritional factors in the prevention of this disease. Researchers use different approaches to assessing the contribution of a particular nutrient (omega-3), a food or group of foods or watching the eating habits . ”
And indeed, the results of studies show that the Mediterranean diet would protect from depression. “However, we do not know which component of the Mediterranean diet is responsible for this protective effect.”
“When it comes to assessing their impact on health, fruits and vegetables are often studied together,” say the authors.
In this study, the researchers chose to study separately the effect of fruit and vegetables on the incidence (number of new cases in a given period) and prevalence (proportion of sick people at a given time) of depression. 6271 women aged 55 years on average participated in the study, which consisted of three surveys over a period of 6 years (2004, 2007 and 2010).
Their intake of fruits and vegetables were assessed by two questions: how many fruits do you eat per day? How many servings of vegetables do you eat per day?
The results show that 381 women suffered from chronic depression (depressive symptoms during the 3 surveys), 4322 women had no depressive symptoms and the rest of the women had symptoms of depression at one or two surveys.
Eating two fruits per day is associated with a decreased prevalence of depressive symptoms by 14%. The association between vegetable consumption and the prevalence of depression was also significant but only for the group that consumed the most vegetables, at least five servings a day.
Eating 5 servings of vegetables a day is associated with a reduction in the prevalence of depressive symptoms by 21% (compared to the fact to eat a single serving if at all).
Only the consumption of 2 fruits a day seems to have a protective effect on the incidence of depression among the participants.
“It seems that fruits and vegetables have different effects on depressive symptoms and that these could not be additive.
“The protective effect of fruit could come from their contents of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as flavonoids and carotenoids.
For the authors, the results of the study also suggest that fruit and vegetables should be studied separately because their health effects can be different.