A study by Aston University found that people who ate more fruit had better mental health.
According to new research from Aston University’s College of Health and Life Sciences, people who eat fruit frequently have better psychological health and report fewer symptoms of depression compared to those who don’t.
These findings suggest that how much fruit we eat is more important to our mental health than the total amount we eat in a typical week.
In addition, researchers found that people who ate junk food like potato chips had higher levels of anxiety.
For the study, 428 adults from the UK were surveyed. Researchers have looked at the relationship between consumption of fruits, vegetables, sweet and salty foods and psychological health. Published in the journal Research British Journal of Nutrition.
After taking into account demographic and lifestyle factors, including age, general health and exercise, the fruit and vegetable scientists found that nutrient-dense fruit and nutrient-poor, palatable foods were associated with psychological health. They also found that there was no direct link between eating vegetables and psychological health.
Based on the survey, the more fruit people ate, the higher their mental well-being and the lower their depression score. It does not depend on the total number of fruits.
People who ate high amounts of nutrient-poor snacks (such as potato chips) experienced more “everyday mental disturbances” (called subjective cognitive failures) and reported lower levels of mental well-being. Higher numbers of dropouts were associated with higher reported symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression and mental well-being scores.
In contrast, there was no association between daily memory impairment and fruit and vegetable or sweet foods, suggesting a unique relationship between nutrient-poor palatable foods, daily mental disorders, and psychological health.
Examples of everyday mental disorders include forgetting where things are put, forgetting the purpose of entering certain rooms, and being unable to remember the names of acquaintances whose names are on the tip of the tongue.
Nicola-Jane Tuck, lead author and PhD student, said: “Very little is known about how diet affects mental health and well-being, and although we did not examine direct causality here, our findings suggest that frequent consumption of nutrient-poor palatable foods may suggest. food, in turn, can increase daily mental disorders that reduce psychological health.
“Other studies have found a link between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health, but few have looked at fruit and vegetable consumption in isolation, and even fewer have assessed the frequency and quantity of meals.
“Both fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber and essential micronutrients that support optimal brain function, but these nutrients can be lost during cooking. As we eat more raw fruit, this may explain its greater impact on our psychological health.
“Maybe changing what we eat can be a simple and easy way to improve our mental well-being. On the contrary, the ban on processed food at the counters coming this October could improve not only the country’s physical health, but also its mental health.
“In general, you should try to make it a habit to reach for the fruit bowl.”
Reference: “Frequency of consumption of fruits and savory snacks predicts psychological health; Selective Mediation by Cognitive Failure” by Nicola-Jane Tuck, Claire W. Farrow and Jason Michael Thomas May 26, 2022 British Journal of Nutrition.