Antioxidants and Depression

Antioxidants are substances such as Vitamin B, E or C that prevent oxidative stress, or oxidative free radicals, which are linked to depression. Fruits and vegetables are high in anti-oxidants and may lower oxidative stress.

A national survey of 300,000 Canadians eating more fruits and vegetables had lower depression, stress, anxiety and poor perceived mental health.

In a study of 1000 older men and women, those who ate most tomato products had half the risk of depression. Tomatoes, watermelon and grapefruit have a color pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. In studies, lycopene was shown to be 100 more times powerful than Vitamin E to destroying free radicals.

Studies show only food sources of antioxidants showed less depression. Antioxidants from pills and supplements showed no effect. This could be based on the fact that its not antioxidants, but folate, a Vitamin B, in foods.

In a study of office workers, a processed diet increased their risk of getting depression within 5 years, while a whole foods diet protected against depression, which could be because of the greens and beans.

Studies show low folate in blood is associated with depression, but could it be because low folate led to depression, or depression led to low folate. Could it be when you’re depressed, you don’t feel like eating vegetables?

A study following people over time showed low folate intake increased depression as much as 3 times. Its important to get folate from food, not folic acid from pills. Folate is a group of B9 Vitamins, found in leafy vegetables like spinach. Folic acid is synthetic and used for food storage.

There is a study that shows Vitamin C supplementation, with pills, is linked to lower depression and more frequent sex, but only with partners who don’t live together.

See video of sourced information below, from NutritionFacts.org.