1. Health & Lifestyle

Eating Fruits More Frequently May Reduce Depression: Research

A Recent study from Aston University’s College of Health and Life Sciences, people who regularly consume fruit are more likely to have higher levels of positive psychological well-being and are less likely to experience depressive symptoms.

Sandeep Kr Tiwari
According to research from Aston University, those who regularly consume fruit have better overall mental health.
According to research from Aston University, those who regularly consume fruit have better overall mental health.

A recent study from Aston University College of Health and Life Sciences says people who regularly consume fruit are more likely to have higher levels of positive psychological well-being and are less likely to experience depressive symptoms.

These results suggest that the frequency of our fruit consumption is more significant to our mental health than the overall amount consumed over the course of a normal week.

Additionally, the researchers discovered that those who consume nutrient-poor savory snacks like potato chips are more likely to report higher feelings of anxiety.

For the study, 428 adults from across the UK were surveyed. The association between their intake of fruits, vegetables, sweet and savory food snacks, and their psychological health was examined by the researchers. The study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

After accounting for age, general health, and physical activity, among other demographic and lifestyle characteristics, the researchers discovered that both nutrient-dense fruit and nutrient-deficient salty snacks appeared to be associated with psychological health. Additionally, there was no direct association between consuming vegetables and psychological health.

According to the survey, persons who ate fruit more frequently scored higher for mental well-being and scored lower for depression. This was independent of the total amount of fruit consumed.

Subjective cognitive failures, often known as "everyday mental lapses," are more common in those who frequently eat nutrient-poor savoury snacks, such as potato chips, and they also report feeling less mentally well-being.

A greater number of lapses was associated with higher reported symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, and lower mental wellbeing scores.

This suggests a unique relationship between these nutrient-poor savoury snacks, regular mental slips, and psychological health. In contrast, there was no correlation between these everyday memory lapses with fruit and vegetable intake or sweet snacks.

These annoying little everyday mistakes in memory included forgetting where things were placed, forgetting why one was entering specific rooms, and having trouble recalling the names of friends whose names were "tip of the tongue."

Lead author and PhD candidate Nicola-Jayne Tuck stated: "Very little is known about how diet may affect mental health and wellbeing. While we did not directly examine causality here, our findings could suggest that frequent snacking on nutrient-poor savoury foods may increase daily mental lapses, which in turn lowers psychological health.

“Other studies have found an association between fruit and vegetables and mental health, but few have looked at fruit and vegetables separately – and even fewer evaluate both frequency and quantity of intake.

Both fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential micronutrients which promote optimal brain function, but these nutrients can be lost during cooking. Fruit's higher impact on our mental health may be explained by the fact that we are more inclined to consume it uncooked.

It is possible that changing what we snack on could be a really simple and easy way to improve our mental wellbeing. On the other hand, it's also feasible that the forthcoming restriction on processed snack foods at checkouts, which is set to take effect in October, may enhance both the physical and mental health of the nation.

“Overall, it’s definitely worth trying to get into the habit of reaching for the fruit bowl.”

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