Nutrition plays an important role in the onset of depression, but epidemiological evidence linking depression to nutrients is scarce in the Chinese populations.


Data of 2592 residents (male 45.0% ), aged 18-80 y were analyzed. Dietary intake was assessed by a validated 26-item food frequency questionnaire ( FFQ ). Depressive symptoms were evaluated using a WHO-Five Well-being Index (WHO-5).


After stratified by age and food groups, elderly participants (65-80 y) who consumed the highest quartile of protein sources from poultry (OR 0.45, 95%CI: 0.22-0.95) or seafood (OR 0.43, 95%CI: 0.21-0.91) had a decreased odds of depressive symptoms than those in the lowest. Younger participants (18-44 y) with high fiber intake (from the highest through the lowest quartile) from beans (0.51: 0.30-0.86, 0.60: 0.36-0.99, 0.44: 0.26-0.73 ), nuts (0.55: 0.32-0.93, 0.41: 0.23-0.72, 0.35: 0.19-0.62) or light vegetables (0.75: 0.43-1.29, 0.70: 0.43-1.14, 0.53: 0.32-0.86) showed a significantly lower odds of depressive symptoms than those with the lowest. Moreover, the middle-aged group (45-64 y) who had high consumption of fiber from tubers (0.87: 0.58-1.29, 0.60: 0.39-0.92, 0.90: 0.60-1.34) showed lower odds of depressive symptoms compared to those had the lowest.


Lower protein intake from poultry or seafood in elderly were associated with higher prevalence of depressive symptoms. Higher fiber intake from beans, nuts or light vegetables in the young and from tubers in the middle-aged group were related to a reduced risk of depression.