NewsyList

Regular fruit intake leads to better mental well-being and fewer symptoms of depression, study finds

Both fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber and essential micronutrients that support optimal brain function, but these nutrients can be lost during cooking (Getty Images)

People who eat fruit frequently are more likely to report greater positive mental well-being and are less likely to report symptoms of depression than those that don’t, according to new research from the Aston University School of Health and Life Sciences (UK).

The results, published in the scientific journal British Journal Of Nutrition, they suggest that how often we eat fruit is more important to our psychological health than the total amount we consume during a typical week. The team also discovered that people who eat salty snacks, such as potato chips, which are low in nutrients, are more likely to have higher levels of anxiety.

The study surveyed 428 adults from across the UK and looked at the relationship between their consumption of fruit, vegetables and sweet and salty snacks, and their psychological health. After taking into account demographic and lifestyle factors such as age, general health and physical activity, The research found that both nutrient-rich fruit and nutrient-poor salty snacks appeared to be related to psychological health. They also discovered that there was no direct relationship between vegetable consumption and psychological health.

People who frequently eat nutrient-poor salty foods (such as potato chips) are more likely to suffer from “everyday mental lapses” (known as subjective cognitive failures) and to report lower mental well-being (Getty Images)

According to the survey, the more often fruit was eaten, the lower the depression score and the higher the mental well-being score, regardless of the total amount of fruit intake. In the meantime, people who frequently ate salty, nutrient-poor foods (like french fries) were more likely to experience “everyday mental lapses” (known as subjective cognitive failures) and to report less mental well-being.

See also  Posthumous success for two medicine titans

A higher number of lapses was associated with a higher number of symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, and with a lower mental well-being score. On the contrary, no relationship was observed between these everyday memory lapses and intake of fruit and vegetables or sweet snacks, suggesting a unique relationship between these nutrient-poor salty snacks, everyday mental lapses, and psychological health.

Some examples of these frustrating everyday mental lapses were forgetting where objects had been placed, forgetting the purpose of entering certain rooms, and being unable to retrieve names of acquaintances whose name was on the “tip of the tongue.”

"Our results might suggest that frequent snacking on nutrient-poor, salty foods may increase everyday mental lapses, which in turn reduces psychological health.” (Getty Images)
“Our results may suggest that frequent snacking on nutrient-poor, salty foods may increase everyday mental lapses, which in turn reduces psychological health.” (Getty Images)

“Very little is known about how diet can affect mental health and well-being, and although we don’t directly examine causality here, our results might suggest that Frequent snacking on nutrient-poor, salty foods can increase everyday mental lapses, which in turn reduces psychological health.” explains the main author, the doctoral student Nicola-Jayne Tuck.

Other studies have found an association between fruit and vegetables and mental health, but few have analyzed fruit and vegetables separately, and even fewer assess both the frequency and amount of intake. Both fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber and essential micronutrients that promote optimal brain function, but these nutrients they can be lost when cooked. Since we are more likely to eat the fruit raw, this could explain its greatest influence on our psychological health.

See also  Covid19, variant Xe: from symptoms to contagiousness, what we know

Like the intricate relationship between the gut and the brain, diet and mental health are inextricably linked, and the connection between them goes both ways: a lack of good dietary choices leads to an increase in mental health problems, and mental health problems in turn lead to poor eating habits.

When a person is in the lowest mood, cognitive control over eating fails and eating something greasy is the easiest and most automatic. It is very common to have unhealthy habits, for example, the consumption of toxic substances such as tobacco and alcohol, as well as foods rich in ultra-processed foods and sugars, refined flours and saturated fats. These foods, although very tasty, are very poor at a nutritional level. Healthy nutrition is key to leading a healthy lifestyle and protecting mental health.

KEEP READING:

The 6 Best Brain Foods, According to a Harvard Nutritionist
Mediterranean diet may help young men beat depression
How to treat and what to say to a person who is suffering from depression

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Media

Most Popular

On Key

Related Posts