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Get Your Fruits & Veggies in for Mental Well-Being, Study Finds

A study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine shows that eating just one extra portion of produce per day can have a significant effect on mental well-being. In fact, it can be the equivalent of spending eight extra days of walking at least ten minutes every month.

Most are familiar with the positive impact of fruits and vegetables on physical health, but the researchers at Leeds and York universities in the United Kingdom analyzed data from 40.000 British citizens to see how fruits and veggies could change mental well-being as well.

The researchers followed individuals between 2010 and 2017, assessing the participants’ daily intake of fruits and vegetables and their well-being. Alternative factors that could affect mental health were considered, including education, income, age, martial status, lifestyle, overall health, and employment status. Still, the participants who ate more of the healthy foods reported a higher level of mental well-being and life satisfaction.

According to the study authors, the majority of individuals in the United Kingdom fall short of the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The study’s results show that those who aren’t eating fruits and vegetables daily would benefit from taking steps toward a healthier diet when it comes to mental well-being.

Further research is needed to clearly demonstrate cause and effect, but fruits and vegetables are clearly beneficial in both the long and short term.

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