Eating fruits and vegetables improves mental health

February 18, 2019 in Brain Health, Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating fruits and vegetables improves mental health

According to a new study from the University of Leeds, consuming more fruit and vegetables can improve psychological well-being and life satisfaction.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 40,000 people in the United Kingdom and found that changes in fruit and vegetable consumption are correlated with changes in mental well-being.

The research found a positive association between the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed and people's self-reported mental well-being.

Specifically, the findings indicated that eating just one extra serving of fruits and vegetables a day had an equivalent effect on mental well-being as around 8 extra days of walking a month (for at least 10 minutes at a time).

The study controlled for alternative factors that may affect mental well-being, such as age, education, income, marital status, employment status, lifestyle and health, as well as consumption of other foods such as bread or dairy products.

It’s well-established that eating fruit and vegetables can benefit physical health. Recently, newer studies have suggested that it may also benefit psychological well-being.

This study was observational in nature and points to an association; further work is needed to demonstrate cause and effect.

Still, evidence is growing for the psychological benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.

Encouraging better dietary habits may not just be beneficial to physical health in the long run but may also improve mental well-being in the shorter term."

Source: Social Science & Medicine, February 2019.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.