fbpx Skip to content


Fiber Fights Depression

The link between fiber and mood may come down to your gut.

| Earn 1 CEC - Take Quiz

FIber fights depression

A high-fiber diet has been linked to a range of health benefits, including protective effects against heart disease, cancer and obesity. Now we can add lower rates of depression to the list, at least if the right gut bacteria are hanging around.

A study involving more than 5,800 women of various ages found that premenopausal women with higher intakes of dietary fiber were less likely to experience depression than premenopausal women with lower fiber intake. The same association was not found among postmenopausal women. The researchers, who reported their findings in Menopause, theorized that the difference between the groups may be due to estrogen levels affecting the balance of gut microorganisms in pre- and postmenopausal women.

The link between dietary fiber and mental health in women, and likely men as well, might be partially explained by gut-brain interactions: Positive changes in gut-microbiota composition brought on by higher fiber consumption could positively affect neurotransmission. Future research will need to determine whether estrogen depletion during menopause does indeed make the microbiome less responsive to a dietary change like eating more fiber—and, if so, how the effects can be ameliorated.

See also: Feeling Blue? Eating More Fiber Could Help


Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up tp date with our latest news and products.