One simple diet change can IMPROVE mental wellbeing, according to science

One simple diet change can IMPROVE mental wellbeing, according to science
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(NaturalHealth365) It’s well documented that consuming ample vegetables and fruits can benefit physical health. In fact, consuming just three to four servings of fruits and veggies can reduce numerous health risks including the development of chronic inflammation, early death and improve heart health – particularly when eaten raw. However, a recent groundbreaking study released by the University of Leeds indicates that ingesting adequate fruits and vegetables can also significantly improve mental wellbeing.

Over 40,000 participants were involved, and three waves of analytical data were collected between 2010-2017 concerning participant’s self-reported state of mental wellbeing. With seven years of data on hand, the study clearly showed some interesting results.

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Participants were asked to consume a minimum of 400 mgs (about four servings) of fruits and vegetables daily over the seven year period. The study’s use of fixed effects regressions through GHQ-12 analysis (examinations that indicate emotional wellbeing on a subjective level of life satisfaction) show a strong correlation between one’s diet and mental health.

But how and why?

Besides their nutritional value, fruits and veggies have a profound effect on specific chemical receptors that relate to emotional health. The primary source of mood improvements are attributed to the fact that many fruits and vegetables boost the body’s production of serotonin, which helps regulate appetite, sleep and mood.

Furthermore, serotonin is produced in the digestive system and feeds the good bacteria in the gut.

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Known as prebiotics, these good bacteria can reduce anxiety levels and promote a positive mental outlook.  These essential prebiotics are also produced by eating ample leafy green vegetables.

This research also confirms a positive association between the quality of veggie and fruit consumption, as those who consumed raw, unadulterated and unfermented choices showed greater emotional health improvements. This is because processing and cooking vegetables and fruits alter their cellular structure and often reduce essential nutrient levels.

What you can do NOW to boost brainpower and mood

Because food is fuel for the body and mind, you can reap the benefits of consuming more fruits and veggies almost immediately. However, the greatest benefits will be experienced with regular ingestion, and the more you eat the better.

Research has shown that exceptional mood elevating foods concerning diet and mental health include amble leafy greens and veggies including collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots. Mood elevating fruits include citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit as well as bananas, kiwi, apples and fresh berries.

Beyond the traditional diet, you can further promote emotional wellbeing through supplements such as vitamin D, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that protect the neuronal functioning of the brain.

And, finally, to ensure the (positive) effects of a fruit and veggie rich diet will last a lifetime – do everything you can to avoid eating processed foods and refined sugars such as, high fructose corn syrup.

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