Fruit and vegetable consumption and the risk of depression: A meta-analysis

Nutrition. 2016 Mar;32(3):296-302. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.09.009. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Objective: Epidemiologic investigations evaluating the association of fruit and vegetable consumption with depression risk have yielded controversial results. Therefore, a meta-analysis was carried out to qualitatively summarize the evidence regarding association of fruit and vegetable intake with risk of depression in the general population.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, and Web of Knowledge were searched for relevant articles published up to June 2015. To evaluate the association of fruit and vegetable intake with depression risk, combined relative risks were calculated with the fixed or random effects model. Meta-regression was conducted to explore potential sources of heterogeneity. Publication bias was estimated by the Egger's test and the funnel plot.

Results: Ten studies involving 227 852 participants for fruit intake and eight studies involving 218 699 participants for vegetable intake were finally included in this study. The combined relative risk (95% confidence interval) of depression for the highest versus lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake was 0.86 (0.81, 0.91; P < 0.01) and 0.89 (0.83, 0.94; P < 0.01), respectively. In subgroup analyses stratified by study design, the inverse association of fruit (0.83 [0.77, 0.91; P = 0.006]) and vegetable (0.88 [0.79, 0.96; P = 0.007]) intake with risk of depression was also observed in the cohort study.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis indicated that fruit and vegetable consumption might be inversely associated with the risk of depression, respectively.

Keywords: Depression; Fruit; Meta-analysis; Vegetable.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Diet
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables*