An Apple A Day Keeps The Negativity Away? Increased Fruit & Veggie Intake May Improve Mental Health

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Sure, you've heard about the benefits of fruits and vegetables in your diet plenty of times. While you know they're good for your physical health, did you know they improve mental health as well? Just another reason to pick up that apple or pack of carrot sticks! New research suggests that mental well-being is associated with an individual's fruit and vegetable consumption. According to a study, 33.5 percent of participants with high mental well-being ate five or more fruits and vegetable servings a day.

This research was conducted at the University of Warwick's Medical School. The study's lead author, Dr. Saverio Stranges, says, "The data suggest that the higher an individual's fruit and vegetable intake the lower the chance of their having low mental wellbeing."

Another 31.4 percent of those with high mental health ate three to four servings of fruit and veggies. This shows a correlation between eating fruit, and positive mental health. Explaining what this means, Science Daily reports:

High mental wellbeing is more than the absence of symptoms or illness; it is a state in which people feel good and function well. Optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships with others are all part of this state. Mental wellbeing is important not just to protect people from mental illness but because it protects people against common and serious physical diseases.

While surely this doesn't mean bananas cure depression, it's good to know that eating well can positively impact mental health too. All the more reason to eat those fruits!


Did you know that there’s a health and well-being magazine for teens? Learn more about Choices and check out our stories about nutrition and mental health, including "Sugar Shocker"!