Lifting a your spirits might be as easy as adding more beans and other fiber-rich foods to your plate. A 2018 study found that people who reported eating the most fiber overall (including from cereal grains, vegetables, and fruits) had fewer depressive symptoms. The data came from 16,807 American adults enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The study suggests that consuming at least 21 grams of fiber daily is the magic mark for reducing depression risk, Americans typically eat only about 15-18g. This mood-boosting benefit could come from fiber-rich foods providing an arsenal of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that improve brain function. Dietary fiber can also improve microorganisms in our gut, and a growing body of research suggests that this gut biome may play a role in brain health.