1. Health & Lifestyle

Kids Who Eat More Fruits & Veggies Have Better Mental Health: Study

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Fruits & Vegetables (Image by Intelligent Medicine)

What to eat that can really improve your mental wellness? Indeed, there’re certain food habits that have the potential to improve your mental health- and even serve as a therapy for anxiety & depression. 

Incorporating a good amount of fruits & vegetables in your diet can make sure that you are getting a diverse range of nutrients as they’re a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium. 

Research Findings: 

The latest research finds that children who eat more fruit & veggies have better mental health. This study is the first to investigate the association between fruit and vegetable intakes, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental wellbeing in UK school children. 

The study was led by UEA Health and Social Care Partners in collaboration with Norfolk County Council.

The research team studied data from almost 9,000 children in 50 schools. They found that the types of breakfast and lunch taken by both primary and secondary school pupils were significantly associated with wellbeing. Children who eat a better diet, packed with fruit and vegetables, have better mental wellbeing as per the latest research from the University of East Anglia.

The research team says that public health strategies and school policies should be developed to ensure that good quality nutrition is available to all children before and during school to optimize mental wellbeing and empower children to fulfill their full potential.

Lead researcher Prof Ailsa Welch, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said, "We know that poor mental wellbeing is a major issue for young people and is likely to have long-term negative consequences”.

"The pressures of social media and modern school culture have been touted as potential reasons for a rising prevalence of low mental wellbeing in children and young people”.

"While the links between nutrition and physical health are well understood, until now, not much has been known about whether nutrition plays a part in children's emotional wellbeing. So, we set out to investigate the association between dietary choices and mental wellbeing among schoolchildren."

Children involved in the study self-reported their dietary choices and took part in age-appropriate tests of mental wellbeing that covered cheerfulness, relaxation, and having good interpersonal relationships.

Prof Welch said, "In terms of nutrition, we found that only around a quarter of secondary-school children and 28 percent of primary-school children reported eating the recommended five-a-day fruits and vegetables. And just under one in ten children were not eating any fruits or vegetables”.

 He said, "As a potentially modifiable factor at an individual and societal level, nutrition represents an important public health target for strategies to address childhood mental wellbeing”.

"Public health strategies and school policies should be developed to ensure that good quality nutrition is available to all children both before and during school in order to optimize mental wellbeing and empower children to fulfill their full potential."

According to my opinion, for achieving mental wellness there's not a single magic bullet food or nutrient to hone in on exclusively. But including more fruits and veggies in your daily diet can definitely improve your physical and mental health. 

(Source: Science Daily)
(Thumbnail Images by Nami san Mateo)

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