Anyone who has made it through the past couple of years without feeling any stress is probably either inhuman or an enlightened master. If you’re one of countless mere mortals in search of a little stress reduction, you might just need to chill out and eat some good food… but not necessarily in that order.
While two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables per day may seem like a lot, that’s the daily allowance that the World Health Organization recommends. A new study shows that this might have a positive impact on mental health as well as physical: Questionnaire results indicated that people who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables experience 10 percent less stress than those who eat sub-par amounts.
“Previous studies have shown the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and stress in younger adults, but this is the first time we’re seeing similar results across adults of all ages,” says the study’s lead researcher, Simone Radavelli-Bagatini.
According to Radavelli-Bagatini, study results suggest that fruits and vegetables contain nutrients which reduce inflammation and oxidative stress—factors that are known to raise levels of tension.
Stress reduction may not be the only mental health benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. As the webzine Eat This, Not That! points out, inadequate consumption of these foods has been linked to depression, among other things.