Feeling stressed? Then you might benefit from snacking on some fresh fruit and vegetables, a new study shows.
Researchers at the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health studied 60,000 Australians, who were aged 45 and over, to see whether there was a link between diet and mental health.
The Study Results
Experts found that those who ate between five and seven servings of fruit and veg a day had a 14 per cent lower risk of stress than those who ate up to four servings.
Those who had between three and four servings of vegetables a day had an 18 per cent lower risk of anxiety than those eating just one portion. What’s more, people who eat between five and seven daily servings of fruit and vegetables saw a 23 per cent lower risk of stress than those having just one serving.
Meanwhile, those who had two servings of fruit and veg had a 16 per cent lower risk of stress than those who just had one portion a day.
But those who ate more than seven servings of vegetables and fruit a day did not have any further reductions in stress.
Dr Melody Ding, of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, says: “[There’s] growing evidence to suggest a link between diet and mental health.
“This study shows moderate daily fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with lower rates of psychological stress.”
Experts believe that leafy greens, like spinach and broccoli, and fruit, like bananas, boost chemicals like serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which in turns improves your mood.
This comes after Deakin University in Victoria conducted one of the first trials to directly test whether improving diet quality can actually treat clinical depression.
The study found those who have a dramatic change in their dietary intake showed a greater reduction in depression symptoms.
The findings also help to prove that diet is a key determinant of mental and brain health. For more on this study, click here.
Find out how to get 5 Serves Of Vegetable Into Your Diet Each Day.
Our Low Fat Beef Chow Mein (pictured above) is filled with veg, click here for recipe.
If you want to get more fruit and veg into your diet, The Healthy Mummy has a HEAP of healthy recipes loaded with nutrients from fruit and veg, click here for our recipes.