Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you lots and lots of fresh produce. And according to new research, spending your money on a healthy fruit and veggie diet isn’t just good for your physical wellbeing: It’s critical to your mental health as well.
According to the study, 33.5 percent of the people who consumed at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day were more likely to score higher for mental wellbeing than those who consumed less than one portion of fruits or vegetables daily.
The study, published in BMJ Open, looked at data on more than 14,000 individuals who participated in the Health Survey for England. The researchers looked at the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale as a measure for the participants’ wellbeing.
“Smoking, alcohol intake and body mass index (BMI) were also measured against mental health; however, a consistent association across men and women was only found for smoking and fruit and vegetable consumption,” reports Food Navigator. “Meanwhile, alcohol intake and obesity were associated with low, but not high mental wellbeing.”
Speaking on the benefits of a high level fruit and veggie diet, lead author of the study, Dr. Saverio Stranges said: “These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role as a driver, not just of physical, but also of mental wellbeing in the general population.”
The study corroborates other research that has linked a healthy, mostly plant-based diet with mental health and wellbeing, as well as studies that have found poor mental health to be linked with diets high in processed junk food.
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