Ladies! Eat Fruits and Vegetables to Beat Middle Age Blues

Most women in the midst of mid-life often experience stress and depression. If you too feeling down about middle age, here’s a simple yet effective way to beat the midlife blues: Eat more fruits and vegetables daily!

That’s the conclusion of a new Australian study. The study, out of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, revealed eating a diet high in both fruits and vegetables can lower anxiety and depression in people, especially among women.

As per the study findings, those who eat five-to-seven servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day can lower their risk of psychological stress.

“This study shows that moderate daily fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with lower rates of psychological stress,” said Dr Melody Ding from the University of Sydney in Australia.

“It also reveals that moderate daily vegetable intake alone is linked to a lower incidence of psychological stress,” Ding added.

For the study, Ding and colleagues recruited more than 60,000 Australian volunteers aged 45 years and older. The team measured each participant’s intake of fruit and vegetable, lifestyle factors
and psychological distress at two time points, 2006-08 and 2010, using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. This scale is a 10-item questionnaire specifically designed to measure general anxiety and depression.

The researchers found, women who ate five-to-seven daily serves of fruits and vegetables everyday lowered their risk of stress by 23 percent. Furthermore, people who consumed two servings of fruit daily lowered their risk by 16 percent, while those who ate three-to-four daily servings of vegetables had a 12 percent reduced risk of stress.

The results further suggested that women who ate three to four servings of vegetables daily lowered their risk of stress by 18 percent.

“We found that fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables,” explains first study author and University of Sydney Ph.D. student, Binh Nguyen.

The results of this study are in line with several previously published cross sectional and longitudinal studies revealing that fruits and vegetables come naturally packed with stress-fighting antioxidants, including vitamin C, which together and individually, can cut risk of depression. For instance, one German study showed that berries were specifically effective in combating stress.

“There’s growing awareness in that what we put into our mouths is closely linked to our mental state,” Ding said.

The findings are published in the British Medical Journal Open.