To Your Health
June, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 06)
Stress Less: Fruits & Veggies
By Editorial Staff
Unless you've been living off the grid for decades, you're undoubtedly aware of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. These low-calorie, high-nutrient whole foods have a wealth of research support suggesting their benefits in everything from weight loss to cancer prevention.
And even if you've been off the grid, you've probably been relying on fruits and vegetables as staple "earth" foods and appreciating the health benefits.
But what about the psychological benefits of eating fruits and vegetables – namely stress reduction? New research suggests this should be added to the long list of health reasons to make sure you're eating fruits and veggies every chance you get. In a study involving more than 8,500 adults ages 25-91, people who ate at least 470 grams (approximately six servings) daily had 10 percent lower stress levels than people who ate less than 230 grams (approx. three servings) daily. This association was particularly evident in middle-aged adults (45-65 years of age).
The authors speculate that the nutrients present in fruits and vegetables may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, thus leading to an increased sense of well-being – less stress. Regardless of the reason, the take-home message is clear: Make sure you're getting enough fruits and vegetables every day as part of a balanced diet. Talk to your doctor for more information about healthy eating and the profound benefits of doing so.