Beat the blues

| Post published on April 6, 2021
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Berries and dark chocolate

Polyphenols from fruit, veg and chocolate help

Links between depression and disease are well established in adults. Depression is often observed in people with vascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, circulatory disorders and heart disease. This study looked at the effects of polyphenols on mental health status in 99 adults aged 40-65 with mild high blood pressure. Polyphenols are health-promoting compounds found in fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine, fruit juice, seeds, nuts and dark chocolate. Results showed those who ate six portions of fruit and veg (including berries) and some dark chocolate every day for eight weeks had fewer depressive symptoms and better general mental and physical health compared to those who ate two or less portions of fruit and veg and no chocolate.

Kontogianni MD, Vijayakumar A, Rooney C et al. 2020. A high polyphenol diet improves psychological well-being: the polyphenol intervention trial (PPhIT). Nutrients. 12 (8) 2445.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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