Eating fruit more often keeps depression at bay, researchers say

Researchers from Aston University have reported that regularly eating fruit may also impact our mental health.

The research suggests that people who frequently eat fruit are more likely to report greater positive mental wellbeing and are less likely to report symptoms of depression than those who do not.

The team study surveyed over 428 adults from across the UK and looked at the relationship between their consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweet and savoury snacks and their psychological health.

Accordingly, they found that how often we eat fruit is more important to our psychological health than the total amount we consume during a typical week.  The researchers also found that people who eat savoury snacks such as crisps, which are low in nutrients, are more likely to report greater levels of anxiety.

Lead author, PhD student Nicola-Jayne Tuck shared, “While we did not directly examine causality here, our findings could suggest that frequently snacking on nutrient-poor savoury foods may increase everyday mental lapse, which in turn reduces psychological health.”

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She added that fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fibre and essential micronutrients that promote optimal brain function. But these nutrients can be lost during cooking.

“As we are more likely to eat fruit raw. This could potentially explain its stronger influence on our psychological health. It is possible that changing what we snack on could be a really simple and easy way to improve our mental wellbeing,” Nicola said.

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