The study found that eating fruit regularly improves mental health and reduces symptoms of depression

Both fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber and essential micronutrients that support optimal brain function, but these nutrients can be lost during cooking (Getty Images)

People who eat fruit frequently are More likely to report greater positive mental health and less likely to report symptoms of depression of those who don’t, according to new research from School of Health and Life Sciences, Aston University (UK).

Results, Published in the scientific journal British Journal of NutritionAnd the they suggest that How often we eat fruit is more important to our mental health than the total amount we consume During a normal week. The team also found out People who eat salty snacks, Like potato chips that are low in nutrients, They are more likely to have higher levels of anxiety.

The study surveyed 428 adults from across the UK and examined the relationship between their consumption of fruits, vegetables, sweet and salty snacks and their mental health. After taking into account demographic and lifestyle factors such as age, general health and physical activity, Research has found that both nutrient-rich fruit and low-nutrient, salty snacks appear to be associated with mental health. Find out too There was no direct relationship between vegetable consumption and mental health.

People who frequently eat salty foods that lack nutrients (such as potato chips) are more likely to suffer from
People who frequently eat salty foods that lack nutrients (such as potato chips) are more likely to suffer from “daily mental lapses” (known as subjective cognitive failure) and report poor mental health (Getty Images)

According to the survey, The more often the fruit is eaten, the lower the degree of depression and the higher the degree of mental healthAnd the Regardless of the total amount of fruit. in the meantime, People who often eat salty and nutrient-poor foods (like french fries) They were more likely to experience ‘daily mental lapses’ (known as subjective cognitive failure) and report a lower mental state.

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A greater number of lapses was associated with a greater number of symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, and a lower mental health score. exactly the contrary, No relationship was observed between daily memory lapses and intake of fruits and vegetables or sweet snacks, indicating a unique relationship between these nutrient-deficient salty snacks, daily mental lapses, and psychological health.

Some examples of these frustrating everyday mental lapses are forgetting where to put things, forgetting the purpose of entering certain rooms, and not being able to recall the names of acquaintances whose names were on the “tip of the tongue.”

"Our results may suggest that frequent snacking of salty foods that lack nutrients may increase daily mental lapses, which in turn decrease mental health.
“Our results may suggest that frequent snacking of salty and nutrient-poor foods may increase daily mental lapses, which in turn reduce mental health.” (Getty Images)

“Very little is known about how diet affects mental health and well-being, and although we do not directly examine causation here, our results may indicate that Frequent snacking on salty and nutrient-poor foods can increase daily mental lapses, which in turn reduce mental health.” The lead author, PhD student, explains Nicola Jane Tack.

Other studies have found an association between fruits and vegetables and mental health, But few of them analyze fruits and vegetables separatelyAnd, even less so, evaluate the frequency and amount of intake. Both fruits and vegetables Rich in antioxidants, fiber and essential micronutrients that promote optimal brain function, but these nutrients It can be lost when cooked. Since we probably eat the fruit raw, that might explain it Its greatest impact on our mental health.

Like the complex relationship between the gut and the brain, Diet and mental health are closely related, Communication between them goes in both directions: A lack of good food choices leads to an increase in mental health problems, and mental health problems in turn lead to poor eating habits.

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When a person is in a low mood, cognitive control over eating fails and eating something greasy is the easiest and most automatic. It is very common to have unhealthy habits, for example, consuming toxic substances such as tobacco and alcohol, as well as foods rich in ultra-processed foods, sugars, refined flour and saturated fats. Although these foods are very tasty, they are very poor nutritionally. Healthy nutrition is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle and protecting mental health.

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Freddie Dawson

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