Fruits are rich in fibre and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They are also a powerhouse of a variety of antioxidants, including flavonoids, which promote good health. A diet enriched with the goodness of fruits and vegetables can help lower one’s chances of getting heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes. Citrus fruits and berries can also prove to be very effective at illness prevention.
You must have heard of the phrase – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Studies indicate that apples, along with bananas, citrus fruits, and berries, not only keep you healthy but also keep you happy. Food and mood are inextricably linked. As a result, in order to nurture the brain, work on cognitive skills, enhance memory, and control brain disorders, such as dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ADHD, proper nutrition is essential. Hence, foods containing nutrients like curcumin, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids are highly valued.
Relation between consumption of fruits and mental health
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, people who maintained a healthy fruit diet had a more positive outlook toward life, were optimistic, and were less prone to anxiety, sadness, and stress as compared to those who ditched fruits altogether.
Researchers also discovered that those who routinely consumed non-nutritive foods like chips and cookies were more likely to experience a phenomenon called “daily mental lapses." This phenomenon can be detrimental to one’s health, causing low productivity and forgetfulness, and disrupting one’s professional and personal affairs. These individuals are also at a higher risk of depression, panic attacks, and stress.
According to Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, who is an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, fruits and vegetables can aid in the steady production of serotonin, which indirectly affects mood. “They can alter the gut microbiome to favor bacteria that improve gut-brain communications and cognitive function. The gut is a major source of serotonin so foods that promote healthier microbiomes will lead to better mood,” explains the doctor.
In another exclusive study conducted by Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, the doctor discovered that eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables also had a connection with better sleep among women. As per her observation, better sleep schedules reduce psychological distress, which further proves why fruits and vegetables promote better and improved mental health.
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