Junk food bad for mental health; fruit and veggies good for it

British researchers recently published an article in the Central European Journal of Public Health showing a connection between diet and mental health among university students.

The study had over 3,700 students at 7 universities in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales self administer questionnaires, including a 12-item food frequency questionnaire, Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale, and modified Beck Depression Inventory.

The researchers discovered that among those who ate unhealthy foods (such as sweets, cookies, snacks, and fast food), females were more likely to report increased stress compared to those who didn’t eat those foods. Females and males who ate these unhealthy foods were more likely to report depressive symptoms that those who didn’t eat these foods.

On the other hand, those who consumed healthy foods (such as fresh fruit, salads, and cooked vegetables) reported less stress and fewer depressive symptoms than those who didn’t eat those foods. This was true for males and females. Likewise, males who ate fish and seafood reported fewer depressive symptoms.

This is yet more research to a growing, strong body of studies that show a significant connection between what we consume and our mental health, supporting what we at Truehope have been saying for nearly 20 years.