Eating more fruits can improve your mental health: Study
If you want to stay fit and healthy, it's important to have at least one fruit daily since they are packed with health-boosting antioxidants along with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Increased fruit intake can reduce the risk of heart diseases and lowers high blood pressure levels. However, did you know that fruits can also reduce symptoms of depression and improve your mental health?
Over 400 adults were surveyed about their mental health
Recently, a team of researchers from the UK's Aston University studied the mental health benefits of increasing fruit intake and published the results in the British Journal of Nutrition. The team surveyed over 400 adults in the UK about their mental health and diets, asking about their snacking habits, too. The research revealed that people who ate more fruits had better mental health.
Snacking on nutrient-poor foods may increase mental lapses: Lead author
The research highlighted that the people who consumed more fruits also had lower depression levels as compared to those who snacked on savory food items. People who ate more nutrient-poor savory foods experienced worse mental states. "Findings could suggest that frequent snacking on nutrient-poor savory foods may increase everyday mental lapses, which in turn reduces psychological health," said lead author Dr. Nicola-Jayne Tuck.
Why fruits are better than vegetables for mental health
So, why are fruits considered better than vegetables when it comes to mental health? "Both fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential micronutrients, which promote optimal brain function, but these nutrients can be lost during cooking," Dr. Tuck said. "As we are more likely to eat fruit raw, this could potentially explain its stronger influence on our psychological health," she added.
It's worth reaching out for the fruit bowl: Dr. Tuck
Dr. Tuck also said while many studies found an association between fruits and vegetables and mental health, only a few have looked at fruits and vegetables separately. While the study was not able to assert that fruits directly had a positive impact on mental health, Dr. Tuck assured that "it's definitely worth trying to get into the habit of reaching for the fruit bowl."