More and more studies are indicating a strong correlation between a person eating fruits and vegetables and the well-being of their mental health.
A Little Fruit and Vegetable Goes a Long Way for Mental Well Being
The UK Household Longitudinal Study, for instance, which uses a sample of more than 40,000 people, is being recently discussed for its findings. Participants who increased the number of healthy fruits and vegetables reported having increasingly better mental health. The results revealed that something as simple as adding one more portion of fruit or vegetables to a person’s daily diet can make all the difference. Portion sizes could be one cup of raw vegetables, half a cup of cooked vegetables or chopped fruit, or one whole piece of fruit. Even after the effects of physical health, income and other foods are accounted for, results indicated that an extra serving of fruit or vegetables is as important to life satisfaction as walking an extra seven to eight days a month.
Lack of Fruit Vegetables in Diet Can Forecast Depression
Another study in Australia links mental health to fruit and vegetable consumption. It reveals that the fewer portions of either fruits or vegetables a person eats in a day can make them at risk and even predict if they are diagnosed with depression in a two-year time frame. Since the reverse does not seem to correlate (those with depression do not increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables) more supporting evidence can be deduced. Eating healthy fruit and vegetables can positively influence a person’s mood, resulting in a lowered chance of being diagnosed with depression or any other mental health issues.
How does Fruit and Vegetable Intake Effect Mental Health?
The amount of vitamin C and vitamin E in the fruits and vegetables people generally eat could play a role in this correlation. As both vitamins, C and E are proven to lower depressive moods and thoughts since they lower inflammatory markers. While the basis for this study is still being researched and proven, many believe the correlation is a pretty strong one.
Take better control of your mental health by staying proactive and making healthy lifestyle choices. For more information about the effects of depression and professional treatment options, please visit our Depression Test page.