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Colour your food platter with fruits and vegetables for mental well-being

Posted:  Wednesday, October 01, 2014

It is common knowledge that fruits and vegetables consumption brings about a host of benefits. However, a recent UK study has given us further reasons to grab an apple or a carrot. One can achieve mental well-being simply by increasing the portions of fruits and vegetables in a day’s meal, found the study.

The British Medical Journal Open study found that volunteers consuming 5 or more portions of fruits and vegetables in a day reported higher mental well being compared to those consuming only one portion in a day.

The researchers used data from the Health Survey for England, which included nearly 14,000 adults over the age of 16. This survey recorded information about the mental and physical well being of the participants apart from their health-related behaviors, demographics and socio-economic characteristics.

The team evaluated the participants’ mental well-being using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. They classified the top 15% of participants in the "high mental well-being" group, the bottom 15% in the low group, and those between 16-84% in the middle group.

The results revealed that 35.5% of participants in the high mental well-being group consumed five or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day in comparison to 6.8% participants who consumed less than one portion. Also, 31.4% of the participants from the high mental well-being group consumed three to four fruit and vegetable portions per day, and 28.4% consumed one to two.

"The data suggest that higher an individual's fruit and vegetable intake, the lower the chance of their having low mental well-being," said senior researcher Dr. Saverio Stranges. He further added, “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 the researchers, mental well-being is not merely absence of illness or any disease but also a feel good factor and functioning to their optimum. Optimism, happiness, self esteem, resilience and good relationships are also a part of mental well-being. In a time when mental illness is neglected and hardly understood, the fact that diet exerts a preventative effect is indeed good news!

For study details:-Click Here!