Want to dramatically lower your risk of chronic diseases and improve your mental well-being? Go dig into some fruits and veggies! The power of produce for lowering the risk of our most common chronic diseases is firmly established, and it looks like improving happiness and mental health is another worthy reason to keep this sensational food piled high on your plate.
In a report that included 14, 000 British subjects age 16 or over, scientists sought to investigate the relationship between self-reported mental well-being relative to a variety of health behaviors. Aside from smoking status, consuming antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables was the only health-related behavior consistently linked to mental well-being. Overall, the higher an individuals intake of fruits and vegetables, the greater their chances of high mental well-being and the lower their chances of low mental well-being.
Of the study subjects that reported the highest mental well-being, 64.9% ate three or more servings of fruits and veggies daily relative to only 6.8% who ate less than one daily serving. The implications of these study findings are paramount in that low mental well-being is strongly linked to mental illness, while high mental well-being is strongly linked to happiness, productivity, and superior overall quality of life. (BMJ Open, 2014;4(9))