publish date 2022-07-23 09:01:29
We all know eating a healthy, balanced diet is good for our physical health – but a new study finds that it can also boost mental health.
Specifically, eating more fruit has been linked to improved overall mental health and reduced symptoms of depression.
A team of researchers from Aston University surveyed more than 400 adults in the UK about their mental health and diet, detailing their snacking habits.
They found that people who ate fruit snacks, compared to savory, sweet and vegetable snacks, had lower depression scores and higher mental health, even after accounting for their different ages, overall health and the amount of exercise they did.
The researchers noted that eating delicious snacks was associated with increased symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety, and decreased psychological well-being, through increased incidences of cognitive failures.
While the study cannot prove that eating fruit directly improves their mental health, lead author Dr. Nikola Jane Tack notes that, in general, “snacking on whole fruit may increase the absorption of nutrients… Thus, it has a stronger impact on mental health.”
On the other hand, people who ate more “salty, nutrient-poor foods” had poorer mental status.
“The results could suggest that frequent snacking of salty, nutrient-poor foods may increase daily mental lapses, which in turn reduces mental health,” Nicola and colleagues conclude.
Although both fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, the greatest mental health benefits were seen in those who regularly ate fruits. Nicola explains, “Both fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber and essential micronutrients that promote optimal brain function, but these nutrients can be lost during cooking. Since we are more likely to eat fruit raw, this may explain its stronger effect on our mental health.” .
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Source : اخبار الاردن