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High Polyphenol Diet May Help Improve Psychological Well-Being

Polyphenols are micronutrients with strong antioxidant properties that are found in fruits, vegetables, cocoa, coffee, and tea. A recent study suggests that a high polyphenol diet may help improve psychological well-being.

Participants in the study included 99 adults who were mildly hypertensive. They underwent a 4-week washout period on a low polyphenol diet, after which half were assigned to a high polyphenol diet and half were assigned to a low polyphenol diet for 8 weeks. The researchers assessed lifestyle and psychological well-being at baseline and at the end of the study period. They used the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule to asses subjective mood, the Beck Depression Inventory-II to assess depressive symptoms, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale to measure depression, anxiety, and stress, and the RAND Medical Outcomes Study to evaluate mental and physical health.

Participants in the high polyphenol diet group saw a decrease in depressive symptoms compared to the low polyphenol diet group. The high polyphenol diet group also saw significant improvements in general health, energy/fatigue, and mental health compared to the low polyphenol diet group. No significant differences were seen in anxiety, stress, or self-esteem.

The study was conducted by researchers from Harokopio University and Queen’s University Belfast. It was published online ahead of print on August 14, 2020 in the journal Nutrients.

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