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.”
A study has found that poor mental health is linked with poor diet quality—regardless of personal characteristics such as gender age, education, age, marital status and income level. February 21, 2019, Loma Linda, CA—The study, published Feb. 16 in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, revealed that California adults who consumed more unhealthy...
Sugar does not improve mood and it can make people less alert and more tired after its consumption. April 4, 2019, Coventry, England—Unlike the common myth, sugar does not improve mood—and it can make people less alert and more tired after its consumption, according to a new study by the University of Warwick, Humboldt University...
A simple tweak to the sleeping patterns of “night owls”—people with extreme late sleeping and waking habits—could lead to significant improvements in sleep/wake timings, improved performance in the mornings, better eating habits, and a decrease in depression and stress. June 10, 2019, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK—New international research by the Universities of Birmingham and Surrey in...
Looking on the bright side also acts as a safeguard, according to 18-year study May 2, 2019, State College, PA—People who don’t give up on their goals (or who get better over time at not giving up on their goals) and who have a positive outlook appear to have less anxiety and depression and fewer...