Yesterday, we wrote about kiwi being good for cardiovascular health. It may not be surprising that a fruit is good for you physically, but, it may come as a bigger surprise that fruit is good for you psychologically. New research suggests that the flavonoids in fruit powerfully protect against depression. . . .

The study included 82,643 women between the ages of 36 and 80 who had no history of depression. The researchers followed the women, what they ate and rates of clinically diagnosed depression and antidepressant use. When they followed what they ate, the researchers analysed their total flavonoid intake.

Women who had the highest flavonoid intake had a 7-10% reduction in risk of depression versus the women with the lowest flavonoid intake (7% for flavonol, 8% for flavone and 10% for flavanone). The women who had the highest intake of flavonoids from citrus fruits and juices did even better. These flavonoids produced an 18% reduction of risk when the women consumed two or more servings of citrus fruit or juice a day compared to women who had less than one a week. When the women who were over 65 at the start of the study got lots of flavones and proanthocyanidins, they reduced their risk of depression by 17%. Proanthocyanidins are the powerful antioxidant flavonoids found in fruits like dark red, blue and purple grapes and berries. Flavonoids are powerfully antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

This novel study shows that getting lots of healthy flavonoids in your diet is associated with reduced rates of depression. That’s a new benefit of flavonoids and a new reason to get more fruit in your diet.

Am J Clin Nutr 2016;doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.124545

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For much more on preventing and treating depression, see our book, The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

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