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.
For the study, the scientists used data collected from the health survey for England, which included 14,000 participants. The study revealed that around 3.5% of participants with high mental wellbeing were reported eating five servings a day. Of this category, only 6.8% ate less than one portion.
Of the rest of members with high mental health, around 31.4% ate three to four servings of fruits and vegetables per day and 28.4 ate one to two.
Saverio Stranges, M.D., Ph.D., the lead researcher, said, "Fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role in improving mental health. Our findings suggest that higher an individual's fruit and vegetable intake the lower the chance of their having low mental well-being."
Of the participants, 56 percent were female and 44 percent were male, which means that the connection applies to both male and female. All the participants involved in the research were over 16 years of age and the researchers used the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) to evaluate their mental wellbeing.
The study, conducted by the University of Warwick in the UK, was published in the British Medical Journal. It is interesting to note that the same team had said in 2012 that human wellbeing peaked at seven portions per day of fruits and vegetables. This study was published in the journal Social Indicators Research.
Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables
It controls your weight:
Eating more fruits and vegetables is vital to lose weight. According to the studies, fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre - three important ingredients for successful weight loss. Fruits and vegetables also contain plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which are significant for helping us to look and feel our best and to protect us from ailment.
Lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure:
Higher an individual's fruit and vegetable intake the lower the chances of developing heart disease. Compared with those in the lowest group of fruit and vegetable consumption (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged eight or more servings a day were 30 percent less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.
Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes:
Consumption of more fruits and vegetables and less sweetened beverages and saturated fats can reduce the risk for type 2 - diabetes by about 20 percent, compared to those who made no changes to their eating habits.
Lower your risk of cancer:
Studies suggest that nearly one in 20 cancers may be linked to diets low in fruit and vegetables. Consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, lung, larynx and some types of stomach cancer.
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 (chemicals found in plants). These nutrients help prevent cancer by mopping up harmful chemicals that could potentially damage DNA, helping protect against DNA damage, helping with repairing DNA and blocking the formation of cancer-causing chemicals.