LONDON – A new study has revealed that consuming recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day may not only be good for people’s physical health but is also beneficial for their mental wellbeing.
It was found in the study that 33.5 percent of people with high mental wellbeing ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, compared with only 6.8 percent who ate less than one portion.
31.4 percent of those with high mental wellbeing ate three-four portions and 28.4 percent ate one-two.
Other health-related behaviors were found to be associated with mental wellbeing, but along with smoking only fruit and vegetable consumption was consistently associated in both men and women. Alcohol intake and obesity were not associated with high mental wellbeing.
Low mental wellbeing has been strongly linked to mental illness and mental health problems, but high mental wellbeing was more than the absence of symptoms or illness; it was a state in which people feel good and function well. Optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships with others are all part of this state.
Mental wellbeing was important not just to protect people from mental illness but because it protects people against common and serious physical diseases.
The study is published in BMJ Open.