Frequently eating fruits and vegetables highly impacts your self-confidence, worry, sadness and happiness

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo by Tom Brunberg/Unsplash

Besides being trusty sources of vitamins, fruits and vegetables also boost performance and help treat illnesses like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Now, recent studies have also discovered that fruits and vegetables can improve mental health, specifically your anxiety levels. 

According to a new study published in the Journal Environmental Research and Public Health, not getting enough fruits in daily meals can increase the risk of anxiety disorders. Researchers proved this by assessing 27,000 participants and the relationship between their anxiety disorders and daily intake of fruits and vegetables. 

They observed that respondents who ate less than three to four vegetables and fruits a day had a 24 percent risk of being diagnosed with anxiety. Author Karen Davison adds that as body fat increases beyond 36 percent, there is a good chance that anxiety levels will also increase by more than 70 percent. 

The study concluded that the specific nutrients found in fruits and vegetables namely carotenoids, potassium, fiber, vitamins and polyphenols have been linked to good mental health. There are also a number of studies that have proven frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables highly impacts self-confidence, worry, sadness and happiness

Respondents who ate less than three to four vegetables and fruits a day had a 24 percent risk of being diagnosed with anxiety

Prioritize fruit and vegetable intake 

Fruits and vegetables have to be staples in daily meals if you want to reduce anxiety, especially in this generation when depression and anxiety rates have increased. According to the American Heart Association, meals should at least consist of a minimum of four to five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. 

One serving for example is equivalent to a medium-sized fruit or a quarter-cup of dried fruits. Meanwhile, one serving of vegetables is proportional to one cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables you can purchase in the grocery. 

 

Add physical activity to your daily routine

Several research studies have also proven the importance of getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day to improve mental health. A study published by the Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences in 2019 founded that people who exercise regularly reportedly have lower anxiety symptoms and levels. Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin (also known as mood boosters) that can reduce anxiety and depression.

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