The consumption of red wine and red fruits can prevent and combat mental illnesses, according to a study carried out by a group of researchers from Portugal and whose results were revealed today.
Regular consumption of red fruits (raspberries, strawberries or blackberries) and red wine can help regulate the intestinal flora, reduce inflammation, prevent depression and help fight dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, the researchers explained.
All these foods contain anthocyanins, which are pigments that give these fruits their particular color and that would be responsible for these properties.
This discovery “opens the way to a new therapeutic strategy in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as anxiety or depression,” explains the coordinator of the research, Conceicao Calhau.
The finding was made in the framework of a study that evaluated the relationship between diet, intestinal flora, and the brain.
Red wine and red fruits reduce the risks of mental illnesses development
In a first phase of the study, carried out on lab animals, the scientists discovered that a diet rich in saturated fats decreases the beneficial bacteria of the intestines and induces inflammation of the brain.
In the second phase, it was found that the consumption of blackberry extract in lab animals allowed to improve the conditions of their intestinal flora and reduce brain inflammation that underlies the neurological complications associated with obesity, states the study.
On the other hand, the scientists verified the impact in humans of the consumption of blackberry puree, and in the cases in which the intake was complemented with red wine, the levels of anthocyanins in blood increased.
“More studies are needed to discover if individuals with excess weight or obesity can benefit from the consumption of foods that simultaneously contain anthocyanins and alcohol, such as red wine,” concluded one of the researchers of the study, Claudia Marques.
What has been noticed for sure is that red wine and red fruits reduce the risks of mental illnesses development thanks to anthocyanins and may also have beneficial effects in patients with obesity.