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Fruits and veggies 'five a day' prescription could keep your mental health in check


Eating fresh fruits and vegetables isn't only good for your body, but research suggests it is also associated with better mental well-being.

Researchers from the University of Warwick's Medical School found that 33.5 percent of individuals with high mental well-being ate five or more portions of fruits or vegetables per day, compared with 6.8 percent of people who ate less than one portion.

"The data suggests that [the] higher an individual’s fruit and vegetable intake the lower the chance of their having low mental well-being," said Dr. Saverio Stranges, lead author of the study.

Other factors may not matter

Surprisingly, alcohol intake and obesity were not associated with any impact on well-being. Smoking, however, seemed to be associated with mental well-being in both men and women.

“Along with smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption was the health-related behavior most consistently associated with both low and high mental well-being," Dr. Stranges said. "These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role as a driver, not just of physical, but also of mental well-being in the general population”.

According to co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, mental illness can be costly for both individuals and society, as it co-exists with many physical diseases and unhealthy lifestyle habits.

“Our findings add to the mounting evidence that fruit and vegetable intake could be one such factor and mean that people are likely to be able to enhance their mental well-being at the same time as preventing heart disease and cancer," Stewart-Brown said.

The study is published in the journal BMJ Open.

Source: Health Canal