Fruit and vegetable intake improves your mental health

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is healthy. Now, scientists say that this healthy eating habit can improve your mental health too. A new research has found that a healthy nutrition, with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables taken five times a day, has a substantial positive effect on mental health.

Research focused on fruit and vegetable intake improves mental health. It has linked increased consumption with better physical health, but a new study published in the British Medical Journal found that it also influenced mental well-being.

Researchers at the University of Warwick’s Medical School used data from the Health Survey for England to assess mental well-being in relation to factors such as fruit and vegetable intake. That the study include 13,983 adults (56% female) ages 16 and older. The survey responses from 2010 and 2011 were analyzed using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale to estimate low and high mental well-being.

“Mental well-being is more than the absence of mental illness or psychiatric pathology,” the study said. “It implies ‘feeling good’ and ‘functioning well’ and includes aspects such as optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience, agency autonomy and good relationships with others.”

  • The research found that 33.5% of participants with high mental well-being consumed five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Only 6.8% of the respondents who consumed less than one portion a day showed a high mental well-being.
  • In addition, 31.4% of the respondents with a high mental well-being ate 2 to 4 portions and 28.4% consumed 1 to 2 portions.

The data suggests that an individual with a higher fruit and vegetable intake will have a decreased chance of having a low mental well-being, which may lead to a later development of a mental or physical illness. Fruit and vegetable intake was consistently associated with better well-being in both men and women.

“Fruit and vegetable consumption might also be acting as a proxy for a complex set of highly correlated dietary exposures, including fish and whole grains, which might contribute to the observed associations,” the researchers said. “Our finding is, of course, in line with a large body of epidemiological and trial evidence on the beneficial role of fruit and vegetable intake in general well-being and prevention of major chronic disease across several populations and age groups.”

The study is the first comprehensive analysis of behaviors associated with mental well-being in a large, nationally representative sample of a general population.

Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables 

Fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of different nutrients that have many different effects on the body. These nutrients include carotenoids, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, flavonoids and various other phytochemicals.

  • It controls your weight
  • Lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
  • Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lower your risk of cancer