Eating fruits frequently may help prevent depression

Credit: Fruchthandel Magazin/Pixabay.

In a new study from Aston University, scientists found that frequently eating fruits can make you feel better, while tasty but less healthy snacks such as potato chips may cause psychological harm and memory problems.

They tested 428 healthy adults who filled out questionnaires about their weekly diet over the past year, including consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweets such as biscuits, cakes, and chocolate, and savory snacks like chips.

Participants ate fruits and vegetables on average four to six times a week, and sweet and savory snacks two to three times a week.

The team found people who ate fruit more often showed reduced symptoms of depression and greater positive psychological well-being.

On the other hand, more frequent snacking of potato chips and other savory snacks was associated with increased anxiety, depression, stress, and reduced psychological well-being.

The team also found that eating a portion of the fruit of any size was good for mental health. Eating fruit twice a day was better than eating it four times a week.

The researchers suggest that frequently consuming fruits in raw form (whole fruits, for example), may maximize the absorption of nutrients with antioxidant properties, increasing their influence on psychological health.

Snacking on savory foods, especially potato chips, was linked to cognitive struggles, including memory failures, as well as more instances of depression, anxiety, stress, and reduced overall mental well-being.

These new findings are in line with previous results that eating berries, bananas and dried fruits strongly reduced depressive symptoms.

For now, the study suggests healthy habits appear to have benefits. Eating fruit more often and resisting the potato chips is one way that we might feel a little bit more positive day-to-day.

If you care about depression, please read studies about a core feature of depression, and common depression drugs linked to early death risk.

For more information about depression, please see recent studies that this can reduce depression relapse, and results showing this therapy can effectively treat pain, depression, and anxiety.

The study was conducted by Nicola-Jayne Tuck et al and published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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