Fruits and vegetables may improve depression and anxiety

Researchers in Iran and Canada recently published a study in the European Journal of Nutrition, showing a connection between mental health and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

The researchers analyzed the dietary habits and mental health of over 3,300 adults. Generally speaking, 30% of the participants had depression, 15% had anxiety, and 25% had psychological distress.

When the researchers compared mental health with fruit and vegetable consumption, they discovered that those who consumed more produce had better mental health.

Depression

For example, women who ate the most fruit were 57% less likely to have depression, compared to those who ate the least fruit.

Women who ate the most vegetables were also less likely to experience depression, compared to those who ate the least.

Finally, women who ate the most fruits and vegetables combined were less likely to experience depression, compared to those who ate the least.

Anxiety

Women in the participant group who ate the most fruit were 50% less likely to have anxiety, compared to those who ate the least fruit.

Men who ate the most vegetables were less likely to experience anxiety when compared to those who ate the least.

Psychological distress

For men and women who ate the most fruits and vegetables combined, they were less likely to experience psychological distress than those who ate the least.

Women who ate the most fruit were 60% less likely to have psychological distress, compared to those who ate the least fruit.

This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between mental health and what we consume. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.

 

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