Researchers have analyzed data from more than 40,000 people in the UK, and found that changes in fruit and vegetable consumption are correlated with changes in mental well-being.
February 5, 2019—A key feature of this work is that the study was able to follow the same individuals over time.
The study also controlled for alternative factors that may affect
mental well-being, such as age, education, income, marital status,
employment status, lifestyle and health, as well as consumption of other
foods such as bread or dairy products.
The research showed a positive association between the quantity of
fruit and vegetables consumed and people’s self-reported mental
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).
Dr Neel Ocean of the University of Leeds, who authored the study with
Dr Peter Howley (University of Leeds) and Dr Jonathan Ensor (University
of York), said: “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. Our research builds on previous work in
Australia and New Zealand by verifying this relationship using a much
bigger UK sample.
“While further work is needed to demonstrate cause and effect, 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
Dr Howley said: “There appears to be accumulating evidence for the
psychological benefits of fruits and vegetables. Despite this, the data
show that the vast majority of people in the UK still consume less than
“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.”
Dr Ensor added: “This work is part of a broader project between our universities known as “IKnowFood”. As well as investigating consumer behaviour and wellbeing, IKnowFood is exploring how farmers in the UK, and businesses across the global food supply chain, can become more resilient in the face of growing uncertainty in markets, regulation and the natural environment.”
April 11, 2019 • Volume 12, Issue 15Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Accepting Our Diagnoses’ Differences and the Unique Difficulties They Present Neurodiversity has been getting a lot of needed attention lately, and awareness that bipolar and other neurological differences should be both recognized and respected is spreading. Author Kate Bornstein deserves...
Women who eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables each day may have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially of aggressive tumors. In their findings, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and yellow and orange vegetables, had a particularly significant association with lower breast cancer risk. “Although prior studies have suggested an association,...
A new study has found that diets both low and high in carbohydrates were linked with an increase in mortality, while moderate consumers of carbohydrates had the lowest risk of mortality. Eating carbohydrates in moderation seems to be optimal for health and longevity, suggests new research published in The Lancet Public Health journal. The...
August 23, 2018 • Volume 11, Issue 34 Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines The Power of Forgiveness There’s a day for everything, it seems—Popcorn Day, International Tuba Day, Talk in an Elevator Day. Saturday, August 25, is Kiss and Make Up Day. It’s a time to resolve disputes, clear up misconceptions, and...