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Increased well-being and life satisfaction through lots of fruits and vegetables
Anyone who eats a lot of fruit and vegetables is not only doing something good for their physical health, it is also increasing their mental well-being. This is suggested by a new study from Great Britain.
Health experts recommend eating at least five to ten servings of fruit and vegetables a day. This provides your body with important vitamins and minerals and protects you from diseases. In addition, such foods can make us happy, as Australian scientists reported years ago. British researchers have now come to similar results in a new study.
Positive impact on wellbeing
It has long been known that our daily diet has a significant impact on our well-being.
For example, high consumption of fruits and vegetables can increase satisfaction and well-being, as British doctors reported years ago.
English researchers have now come to similar results. According to her study published in the journal "Social Science and Medicine", consuming more fruits and vegetables can improve mental wellbeing.
Changes in fruit and vegetable consumption
In a long-term study, researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of York found that changes in fruit and vegetable consumption have an impact on mental wellbeing.
To get their results, the scientists analyzed data from more than 40,000 people in the UK.
The study participants had to provide regular information about their eating habits and provide information about their mental state. To do this, they used a standard test in which they were asked to rate their feelings and worries on a scale of 0 to 3.
Researchers also controlled alternative factors that can affect mental well-being, such as age, education, income, marital status, employment status, lifestyle and health, and consumption of other foods such as bread or dairy products.
An additional serving per day works
As the two universities report, the study showed a positive correlation between the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed and the self-reported mental well-being of people.
In particular, the results show that eating just one additional serving of fruit and vegetables per day can have a similar effect on mental wellbeing as about eight additional walking days per month.
"While further efforts are needed to show cause and effect, the results are clear: people who eat more fruits and vegetables report a higher level of mental well-being and life satisfaction than those who eat less," said Dr. Neel Ocean from the University of Leeds in a communication.
Promote better eating habits
"There seems to be evidence of the psychological benefits of fruits and vegetables," said Dr. Peter Howley from the University of Leeds.
But - and not only in Great Britain - a large part of the population still consumes less than the recommended five servings per day.
"Promoting better eating habits can not only serve physical health in the long term, but can also improve mental well-being in the short term," said Dr. Howley.
Research reportedly built on previous work in Australia and New Zealand that showed a link between diet and mental wellbeing. This could now be checked against a much larger sample from the United Kingdom.
However, the German Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) points out in a communication that it should be borne in mind that pure observational studies cannot prove causal relationships.
According to the researchers, certain ingredients in plant foods may have a positive effect on the soul. For example, antioxidants and breakdown products of complex carbohydrates could affect the brain and raise the mood.
However, it would also be possible that unhealthy foods are consumed less frequently due to the high fruit and vegetable consumption.
Younger and more attractive skin through fruits and vegetables
Researchers have also recently found that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables makes the skin look more attractive and younger. For more information, read: Daily fruits and vegetables make the skin look younger and much more attractive. (ad)