Swiss chard, artichokes, carrots, whole grains, fruit … Dietary fiber is present in practically every bite that we have within reach, making life easier for us at the intestinal level . What we did not have in mind, almost literally, was that he could help us with depression , a disease that affects, according to WHO data, more than 300 million people around the world.
However, this a priori disjointed battle has established ties that ensure that a diet rich in fiber could be behind lower rates of depression. The sample is taken from a study by the Seoul National University (South Korea), where a group of researchers have found a ray of light between the two: menopausal women with diets high in fiber would be less affected by depression.
In addition to the traditional advantages that we already associate with fiber, the usual driver of healthy diets, we find a reduction in the risk of suffering from heart disease as it reduces cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar levels and is a perfect ally of proper intestinal function. . However, the nooks and crannies of our body, according to the study, from which we extract quotes from Every Day Health, make chemistry an unexpected ally in this field.
How fiber fights depression
“Previous studies prove that dietary fiber intake can modulate the richness and diversity of the gut microbiota ,” explained Dr. Jung-Ha Kim, from the Chung-ang University School of Medicine in Seoul, Republic of Korea. co-author of the study, who also explains that “this change can promote brain health by affecting neurotransmission.”
Thus we jump to a field, that of neurotransmitters (such as serotonin that we talked about a few weeks ago) that directly influences our mental health and thus stands up to a known facial disease , where we find everyday symptoms such as mood. low or irritable, sleep difficulties (both insomnia and excess), changes in appetite with large fluctuations in weight, as well as tiredness or lack of energy. In addition, at least in the Korean case, the prevalence is not the same between men and women, since it affects them twice.
We also went to a Harvard University publication to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and unsaturated vegetable oils , such as olive oil, more frequently in our diet .
Obviously, on the other side of the scale and the shopping list, we find foods that could enhance it (although we must always bear in mind that it is not a disease of a single factor ): red and processed meats, refined flours, sugars, products rich in saturated fat and low intake of vegetables and fruits.
In any case, we are not facing an isolated case among the usual correlation of diet and health, which already quoted Hippocrates, one of the fathers of Roman medicine, with the classic: “Let food be your food and the food, your medicine . “
However, the dichotomy between diet and depression is not limited only to what to take or not to take, but it would also lead us to check if the low fiber diet only indicates symptoms of depression, but not its diagnosis.
In a joint study between several European universities, it is appreciated that healthy diets are associated with lower risks of depression but that this evidence is only evident when it comes to manifesting symptoms. In the same way, they claim not to find an adherence associated with depression with unhealthy diets.
In any case, it is clear that staying faithful to certain ingredients or preparations can be much healthier for our body , and therefore for our mind, such as following the Mediterranean diet or Asian diets, generally rich in fish, vegetables, fruits and oils. healthy vegetables, as opposed to the so-called Western diet , where processed meats, refined sugars or saturated fats abound.