Fruits and Vegetables May Boost Mental Health in Just Two Weeks

Another study came out today reminding us that fruits and vegetables are good for health. The naturally grown produce is universally promoted as an essential part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. Not only fruits and veggies can affect our physical health but can boost our mental well-being as well, according to a recent study.

The study claims that those who increase their consumption of fresh fruits and seasonal vegetables can experience a significant boost in their psychological health within a fortnight.

The study conducted by Dr. Tamlin Conner of the Psychology Department in New Zealand’s University of Otago, and colleagues showed that young adults who inculcated fruits and vegetables in their daily diet for two weeks experienced improved psychological well-being, with an increase in motivation and vitality.

“Providing young adults with high-quality FV (fruits and vegetables), not texting them reminders to eat more FV and giving them a voucher, resulted in improvements to their psychological well-being over a 2-week period,” say the researchers.

For the study, Dr. Conner and colleagues included 171 people from 18 to 25 years of age, and analyzed their dietary habits for two weeks. In order to investigate whether consuming a diet high in fruit and vegetables can have an impact n mental health, the participants were split into three groups.

Young adults in the first group continued eating as normal, and those in the second group were encouraged by text reminders and pre-paid vouchers to eat additional fruit and vegetables. And participants in the third group were personally given two extra servings of fresh produce such as carrots, kiwifruit, apples and oranges every day over the course of 14 days.

Those in the last group managed to make improvements in their psychic health. Also their vital signs and motivation to live healthier lives improved significantly, the researchers found.

However, those who had been given reminders and $10 vouchers to follow this diet did not report a similar improvement. Moreover, these participants were often found to have eaten cooked vegetables in casseroles or mixed their vegetables in their meals.

Dr Conner said: ‘The message from this study is we should be giving people more fruits and vegetables to eat, not simply reminding people to eat their 5+ a day.

“People in dormitories, children in daycare centres, patients in hospitals, employees in the workplace, could be provided with fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.”

Eating more fruits and vegetables, however, did not show improvement in anxiety and depression symptoms.

“The majority of research linking depression to dietary patterns has been longitudinal, meaning that possible differences in ill-being may be established over a much longer period of time rather than our brief 2-week period,” claim the study authors.

The study was published in the PLOS ONE journal.