No meal is truly complete without a generous serving of fruits, vegetables or preferably, both. We all know that these foods, especially when they are fresh and organic, provide immense benefits to our bodies. A high consumption of fruits and veggies has been linked by research to a lowered risk of many illnesses and conditions, including heart disease and stroke.
Now, a new study from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom has associated eating ample amounts of fruits and veggies to higher levels of mental health, as well.
On this new research, study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown stated:
“Mental illness is hugely costly to both the individual and society, and mental well-being underpins many physical diseases, unhealthy lifestyles and social inequalities in health. It has become very important that we begin to research the factors that enable people to maintain a sense of well-being. Our findings add to the mounting evidence that fruit and vegetable intake could be one such factor and mean that people are likely to be able to enhance their mental well-being at the same time as preventing heart disease and cancer.”
This study was rather large in scale, involving 14,000 participants in England over the age of 16. Data was gathered regarding the subjects’ physical and mental health, as well as their dietary habits and other factors.
Analysis of the study results showed that just under 34 percent of the subjects who were found to have “high mental well-being” ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Nearly 32 percent ate three or four servings per day, and just under 29 percent ate one or two portions. Just under seven percent of those who had high mental well-being ate one serving or less of fruits and vegetables.
Researchers have long known the strong connection between physical and mental health, as well as the fact that the nutrients and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can benefit mental processes as well as physical ones. This recent study adds weight to the assertion that to feel our best, we need to up the fruit and veggie quotient whenever possible.
-The Alternative Daily