Health Advice



More veggies, less blues

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In 1940, when Franklin Roosevelt said, "Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people," science had not yet discovered the connection between a fiber-rich diet and a positive outlook. But we're betting he knew that the fiber that makes up your good nature is as beneficial to your well-being as the fiber found in broccoli and 100% whole grains.

According to a study published in the journal Menopause, soluble and insoluble vegetable fibers boost positive neurotransmitter functioning, reducing your risk for depression. And the more high-fiber foods you eat, the more you lower your risk for the blues. The research suggests that it's because eating fiber changes and improves your gut microbiome.

The researchers from South Korea say this is especially true for premenopausal women. They surmise that older women may get less of a mood-boost from fiber because once estrogen levels decline, the gut biome's makeup changes. Then it takes more than fiber to keep your gut-brain connection on track.

To beat the blues (pre- or postmenopause) try exercise; stress reduction practices like yoga, meditation and tai chi; eating prebiotic and probiotic foods (nondairy yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, etc.); and taking probiotic supplements, in addition to eating a high-fiber diet.

The Cleveland Clinic says the best fiber-rich foods include beans, lentils, chickpeas, barley, berries, Brussels sprouts and artichoke hearts. Try the tasty recipes for them in Dr. Mike's "What to Eat When Cookbook" -- there's Avocado Tapenade Bruschetta, Lentil Dumplings, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and more.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



John Branch Caption It Carpe Diem Dilbert Dana Summers David M. Hitch