Had a long, stressful day at work and feel like reaching out for that bar of chocolate? Instead, fix yourself a bowl of fruits or veggies as they are not only good for your physical health, but also likely boost your mental wellbeing, says a new study .
A research conducted by a UK university focused on mental wellbeing and found that high and low mental wellbeing were consistently associated with an individual's fruit and vegetable consumption. As many as 33.5% of respondents with high mental wellbeing ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day , compared with only 6.8% who ate less than one portion.
Low mental wellbeing is strongly linked to mental illness and mental health problems, but high mental wellbeing is more than the absence of symptoms or illness; it is a state in which people feel good and function well.
Optimism, happiness, selfesteem, resilience and good relationships with others are all part of this state. Mental wellbeing is important not just to protect people from mental illness but because it protects people against common and serious physical diseases, researchers said.
“Mental illness is hugely costly to both the individual and society , and mental wellbeing underpins many physical diseases, unhealthy lifestyles and social inequalities in health. It has become very important that we begin to research the factors that enable people to maintain a sense of wellbeing,“ said one of the authors of the study.
These findings add to the mounting evidence that fruit and vegetable intake could be one such factor and mean that people are likely to be able to enhance their mental wellbeing at the same time as preventing heart disease and cancer.