Greater well-being and satisfaction with life through many fruits and vegetables
If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you not only do something good for your physical health, but it also increases psychological well-being. This is the conclusion of a new UK study.
Health experts recommend consuming at least five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables daily. This provides your body with essential vitamins and minerals and thus protects against diseases. In addition, these foods can make us happy, as Australian scientists reported years ago. British researchers have come to similar conclusions in a new study.
Positive influence on well-being
It has been known for some time that our daily diet has a significant impact on our health.
For example, the high consumption of fruits and vegetables can increase satisfaction and well-being, as British doctors reported years ago.
English researchers have come to similar conclusions. Consuming more fruits and vegetables can improve mental well-being, according to his study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.
Changes in fruit and vegetable consumption
Researchers at the University of Leeds and the University of York have found in a long-term study that changes in fruit and vegetable consumption have an impact on mental well-being.
To reach their conclusions, the researchers analyzed data from more than 40,000 people in the UK.
Study participants had to provide regular information about their eating habits as well as information about their mental state. They used a pattern to evaluate their feelings and concerns on a scale of 0 to 3.
Researchers also looked at alternative factors that could affect mental well-being, such as age, education, income, marital status, employment status, lifestyle and health, and consumption of other foods such as bread or dairy products.
An additional portion per day works
As the two universities report, the study showed a positive correlation between the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed and the self-reported mental well-being of people.
In particular, the results show that eating only an extra serving of fruits and vegetables per day can have a similar effect on mental well-being than an additional eight days per month.
"Although more efforts are needed to demonstrate cause and effect, the results are clear: people who consume more fruits and vegetables report higher levels of mental well-being and satisfaction than those who eat less," said Dr. Neel Ocean of the University of Leeds in a statement.
Promote better eating habits
"There seems to be evidence of the psychological benefits of fruits and vegetables," says Dr. Peter Howley of the University of Leeds.
However, not only in the UK, a large part of the population still consumes less than the five recommended portions per day.
"Promoting better eating habits can not only be good for your physical health in the long run, but can also improve mental well-being in the short term" Howley.
The research was based on earlier work in Australia and New Zealand, which showed a link between nutrition and mental well-being. This can now be verified based on a much larger sample from the UK.
However, the German Federal Center for Nutrition (BZFE) points out in a communication that it should be remembered that purely observational studies can not prove causal relationships.
According to researchers, certain plant food ingredients are thought to have a positive effect on the soul. For example, antioxidants and complex carbohydrate breakdown products can affect the brain and elevate mood.
However, it would also be possible that high intakes of unhealthy fruits and vegetables are consumed less frequently. (Ad)