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Fruits and vegetables important for mental, physical well-being

Feb 07, 2019

While it’s well-established that eating fruits and vegetables can benefit physical health. A recent study suggests that it may also benefit psychological well-being. The research showed a positive association between the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed and people’s self-reported mental well-being.

Specifically, the findings indicate that eating just one extra portion of fruits and vegetables a day could have an equivalent effect on mental well-being as around 8 extra days of walking a month (for at least 10 minutes at a time).

Findings of the study were published in the Journal of Social Science & Medicine. “It’s well-established that eating fruit and vegetables can benefit physical health. Recently, newer studies have suggested that it may also benefit psychological well-being,” said Peter Howley, lead author of the study.

Explaining the study, Howley said, “Our research builds on previous work in Australia and New Zealand by verifying this relationship using a much bigger sample. The results are clear: people who do eat more fruit and vegetables report a higher level of mental well-being and life satisfaction than those who eat less.”

According to the researchers, encouraging better dietary habits may not just be beneficial to physical health in the long run but may also improve mental well-being in the shorter term.

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