A new study has suggested that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help teenagers beat mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
The study of 3,000 adolescents has found that those who had poor diets filled with junk and processed foods were more likely to suffer mental health problems.
"The results of this study are consistent with what we have seen in adults but we think it could be more important because three quarters of psychiatric illnesses start before adulthood and once someone has depression they are likely to get it again," Stuff.co.nz quoted Dr Felice Jacka, from Deakin University's Barwon Psychiatric Research Unit Dr Jacka as saying.
"If you can prevent it before it starts in childhood and adolescence you are shutting the gate before the horse bolts.
"Having good nutrition-rich foods is really important for adolescents because it's a time when they are growing rapidly and it's essential they have adequate nutrition," she added.
The participants in the survey filled in questionnaires about their diets and psychological symptoms in 2005 and again in 2007.
Those who ate healthy diets in 2005 were found to have fewer mental health problems than those with poor diets.
The study was published in the journal PLoS One.