Eating Fruits and Vegetables Daily May Lower Psychological Stress

A new study from the University of Sydney in Australia has found yet another reason to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet after finding that fruits and veggies substantially reduce stress levels.

Eating Fruits and Vegetables Daily May Lower Psychological Stress As we know vegetables and fruits are loaded with a host of vitamins and minerals, they not only help us to maintain a healthy lifestyle but also relieve our end-of-the-day stress.

Scientists say that people who eat minimum three to four daily servings of vegetables can lower their level of stress significantly than those who only eat one serving or less of fresh produce. Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are under consumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure which again help to reduce stress.

A diet filled with veggies and fruits are more beneficial for women. The team of Australian scientists headed by Binh Nguyen, doctoral student at University of Sydney in Australia, found that fresh produce was more protective for women than men.

It is pretty common that middle-aged women experience more amount of psychological stress and depression. To beat the midlife blues, Aussie researchers have suggested that adding extra fruits and vegetables to your plate may help cure this neurological problem.

Study Details

To reach their findings, the investigators looked at 60,404 Australian volunteers aged 45 years and older. All participants’ daily intake of fruit and vegetable as well as lifestyle factors and psychological distress were measured at two time points – 2006 to 2008 and then in 2010, using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale – a 10-item questionnaire designed to assess general anxiety and depression.

Study Findings

The result showed, women who ate five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day reduced their risk of psychological stress by 23 percent, when compared with those whose intake of produce was between zero to one serving per day.

When the team looked at the intake of fruits and vegetables individually, they found that women who ate two servings of fruits per day had a 16 percent reduced risk of stress than women who took in zero to one serving, while daily intake of three to four servings of vegetables was linked to an 18 percent reduced risk of stress.

“We found that fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables,” explains Binh Nguyen, first study author and University of Sydney Ph.D. student.

“Fruit and vegetable consumption may help reduce the prevalence of psychological distress among middle-aged and older adults. However, the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and the incidence of psychological distress requires further investigation and possibly, a longer follow-up time,” the authors concluded

The current findings have been published in the British Medical Journal Open.

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