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Tuck into some tomatoes to help depression

6 December 2012

Tuck into some tomatoes to help depression

New research has claimed that eating tomatoes just a few times a week could ward off depression.

A team of researchers from China and Japan, led by Dr Kaijun Niu from China’s Tianjin Medical University analysed the mental health records and dietary habits of 1,000 men and women over the age of 70.  The results showed that those who ate tomatoes two to six times a week were 46% less likely to suffer from depression than those eating them only once a week.  The risk was reduced by 52% if tomatoes were eaten daily.

Unfortunately, other fruits and vegetables didn’t have the same effect.

The results could be because tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and are thought to protect against some diseases.  The lycopene, which gives the fruit its red colour, has been linked with a reduced risk of prostate cancer and heart attacks.

In a report the researchers said, “These results suggest that a tomato-rich diet may have a beneficial effect on the prevention of depressive symptoms.   In contrast, no relationship was observed with intake of other kinds of vegetables.”