Can you believe that improving your diet can save you from stress, depression, and anxiety? There is plenty of research evidence that suggests that diet affects your mood and stress levels which also suggests that eating the wrong types of food can make you anxious. A new study published in the journal Menopause by The North American Menopause Society reveals that one common dietary mistake can lead women to anxiety and depression. The severity and episodes of these disorders increase if they don’t change their diet even after being diagnosed.
The study emphasizes eating fiber-rich foods such as veggies, legumes, fruits, and whole grains to lower the risk of depression especially in middle-aged women who are behind their menopausal age.
There are plenty of lifestyle changes and habits that can save you from depression and you may see health experts endorsing many of them for example exercise, yoga, etc. but one thing which has a direct link with your stress levels and is less focused is diet especially fiber-rich diet which needs your attention.
This current study focused on understating the role of dietary fiber and the onset of depression in middle-aged women. There are some previous studies that have highlighted that low fiber can affect a person’s mental health. however, this current study is the first one that has investigated this relation in pre-postmenopausal as well as postmenopausal women in particular.
This current study analyzed the dietary habits of more than 5,800 women from different age groups and this data was collected through surveys in a nearly four years long period. The results of this study revealed that the premenopausal women which were taking a high amount of fiber daily experienced lesser chances of depression and anxiety suggesting that there is a gut-to-brain connection.
On the other side, those who were making the same dietary mistake of not taking enough fiber had a higher risk of depression.
Interestingly, premenopausal and postmenopausal women didn’t report the same results urging the research team to relate this relation with estrogen levels. Estrogen, a women-centered hormone is thought to affect the gut microflora.
Health experts believe that there could be some possible interactions between dietary fiber and the onset of depression suggesting the fiber can impact the microbiome. There are chances that it can change, or modify any gene expression, affecting the release of the neurotransmitters for example serotonin in the body which results in changed mood and stress.
There are also chances that inflammation has a role to play here. Usually, a high fiber diet lowers the inflammation levels in the body and changes the pH level as well as the permeability of the human gut. Also, fiber content improves digestion and helps the body to feel fuller, despite eating less. But it doesn’t affect the onset of depression in women over their menopausal age. For this age group, there are many other ways to upgrade mental health instead of relying on food alone. But, other women, who are far behind their menopausal age can save themselves from depression by avoiding the common dietary mistake of not taking fiber in their diet.