Fruit & Veggies: Good for the Mind, Not Just The Body!
Eat more fruit and vegetables! – these words we’ve all heard many times before and many of us live them out when it comes to our diets, but why is it such important advice? Fruit and vegetables are great for your physical health, of that there is no doubt! Scientifically proven benefits include decreased risk of diabetes, heart-disease, obesity cancer and stroke and a stronger immune system. But now there’s another reason to boost your intake of fresh, nutritious produce: New research into links between fruit and vegetable consumption and psychological wellbeing has turned up some encouraging results.
A study at the University of Otago in New Zealand concluded that increased consumption of fruit and vegetables significantly improved mental health. Study participants were divided into two groups – one of which followed their regular eating pattern and one of which were given extra fruit and vegetables daily. Testing after the experiment revealed that those who consumed the extra fruit and veggies demonstrated noticeable improvements in the areas of mood, vitality, motivation, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and other key factors in mental health. The second group, for reference, experienced little to no change in these areas at all, having not benefitted from the extra nutrition.
These findings are significant, because they add evidence to the long-held idea that fruit and vegetables aren’t just great for the body, but they can also be powerful for the mind! This is welcome news as mental-health is one of the foremost issues in in health and medicine today, thanks to increased awareness and breakthroughs against the stigma that has sometimes surrounded it. It’s also an encouraging sign for those pursuing a healthier way of living as it adds extra motivation to fill-up on veggies.