Eating more fruits keeps depression at bay
According to a recent study from the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University, people who regularly consume fruit are more likely to have better levels of positive mental well-being and are less likely to experience depressive symptoms.
The study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition. According to the researchers' results, the frequency of fruit consumption is more significant to psychological health than the total amount consumed over the course of a normal week.
The study also discovered that people who consume low-nutrient savoury foods like crisps are more likely to report higher symptoms of anxiety.
The study, which was conducted on 428 individuals from throughout the UK and was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, examined the association between the consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweet and savoury food snacks, and psychological well-being.
The study discovered that both nutrient-rich fruit and nutrient-poor savoury snacks appeared to be associated with psychological health after accounting for demographic and lifestyle characteristics including age, general health, and activity. Additionally, they discovered no link between consuming veggies and psychological well-being.
According to the poll, regardless of the total amount of fruit consumed, people who ate fruit more frequently scored lower for depression and better for mental wellness.
People who often consumed nutrient-poor savoury snacks (like crisps) were more likely to report reduced mental wellness and experience "daily mental slips" (also known as subjective cognitive failures). Higher levels of worry, tension, and despair were observed, as well as worse mental health ratings when there were more lapses.
Contrarily, there was no correlation between these common memory slip-ups and consumption of fruits, vegetables, or sweet snacks, indicating a special link between these nutrient-poor savoury snacks, common memory slip-ups, and psychological health.
These annoying tiny everyday mistakes in memory included forgetting where things were placed, forgetting why one was entering specific rooms, and having trouble recalling the names of friends whose names were "tip of the tongue."
"Very little is known about how diet may affect mental health and wellbeing, and while we did not directly examine causality here, our findings could suggest that frequent snacking on nutrient-poor savoury foods may increase daily mental lapses, which in turn reduces psychological health," said lead author and PhD student Nicola-Jayne Tuck.
However, few researchers have examined fruit and vegetables independently, and even fewer have assessed both frequency and quantity of intake. Other studies have established a link between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health.
"Fruits and vegetables both contain a wealth of antioxidants, fibre, and other micronutrients that support good brain health, but cooking can deplete these nutrients. Fruit's higher impact on our mental health may be explained by the fact that we are more inclined to consume it uncooked,” Tuck added.
It's likely that altering our snacking habits might be a relatively quick and straightforward method to boost our mental health.
On the other hand, it's also feasible that the impending ban on processed snack foods at checkouts, which is set to take effect in October, may enhance both the physical and emotional health of the nation. Overall, attempting to develop the habit of reaching for the fruit dish is absolutely worthwhile.