In a world where it seems like there’s a new fad diet daily, research suggests that a diet high in fibre consistently checks many of our boxes in terms of health and wellness. 

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Fiber is a commonly recommended part of a healthy diet. That’s because it’s good for your health in so many ways — from weight management to reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. 

And if those aren’t reasons aren’t enough to have you reaching for a handful of berries, a new study also finds that it might be linked with a reduced risk of depression, especially in premenopausal women.

The study, published on January 6, 2021, in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, wasn’t designed to discover the why behind the link, but the authors speculate it’s because of fiber’s positive impact on gut health.

“Studies have indicated that dietary fiber intake may modulate the richness and diversity of the gut microbiota, and this change may promote brain health by affecting neurotransmission,” says Jung-Ha Kim, MD, PhD.

Researchers compared dietary fiber intake and depression levels with menopause status for 5,807 participants aged 19 or older from the Korea National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey data. An increase of 1 gram of fiber per 1,000 calories resulted in a 5% decrease in prevalence of depression among premenopausal women.

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