Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, but their benefits are not restricted to physical health. New research finds that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption may advance psychological well-being in as little as two weeks.
Study leader Dr Tamlin Conner, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago in New Zealand found that young adults who were given additional fruits and vegetables each day for 14 days ate more of the food and experienced an increase in motivation and energy. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, adults should aim to eat around two cups of fruits and around two to three cups of vegetables every day.
One cup of fruits is the equal to half a grapefruit or a large orange, and one cup of vegetables is proportional to one large red pepper or a large, baked sweet potato. As part of a diet, fruits and vegetables can help decrease the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and some types of cancer.
In recent years, studies have recommended that fruit and vegetable intake may also advance mental health. For their study, Dr Conner’s team set out to examine this suggestion further.
Increased inspiration, vitality with higher intake of fruits and vegetables
The researchers registered 171 students aged between 18 and 25 to their study. This is what they found: the participants who consumed extra fruits and vegetables over 2 weeks, experienced enhancements in psychological well-being. In particular, these applicants demonstrated enhancements in vitality, motivation, and flourished.