Fruit and vegetables every day protect us from the effects of stress

Medical professionals are studying the effects of consuming fruits and vegetables on stress
In today's society, many people suffer from the negative effects of stress. Researchers have now found that consuming three to four servings of fruit and vegetables a day significantly reduces the stress that occurs.

Scientists from the University of Sydney found in an investigation that eating enough fruits and vegetables daily can significantly reduce the amount of stress felt compared to people who consume little fruit or vegetables. The doctors published the results of their study in the "BMF Open" journal.

Researchers study over 60,000 participants for their study
A study of more than 60,000 Australians over the age of 45 analyzed the impact of fruit and vegetable consumption on participants' mental stress. The experts explain the psychological stress with the help of the so-called Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, a questionnaire that measures general anxiety and depression. Fruit and vegetable consumption was assessed on the basis of a few short questions.

What does fruit and vegetable consumption do?
If people consume three to four servings of vegetables a day, the perceived stress is reduced by 12 percent. If the subjects consumed five to seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day, the stress that occurred was reduced by as much as 14 percent compared to subjects who consumed less than three servings a day.

Women benefit more from fruits and vegetables
When female subjects consumed three to four servings of vegetables daily, the stress burden was 18 percent less compared to women who consumed no or one serving a day. Participants who ate fruit and vegetables five to seven times a day even reduced the risk of stress by 23 percent.

Fruit alone does not reduce stress
The fruit consumption alone - without vegetables - had no significant association with a lower incidence of stress, according to the researchers. In addition, there was no significant difference between very high levels of fruit and vegetable consumption (more than seven servings a day) and a significantly increased protective effect against stress, say the doctors.

summary of results
In other words, these study results show that moderate daily fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with lower levels of mental stress, explains Dr. Melody Ding from the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health. The increased consumption of vegetables is also associated with a lower incidence of psychological stress. However, the fruit intake alone does not seem to have a great effect on people's psychological stress, the expert adds.

More research is needed
Protection against stress is higher in women compared to men participating in the study. This suggests that women benefit more from the consumption of fruits and vegetables, says author Binh Nguyen from the University of Sydney. The researchers concluded that further investigations should be carried out in order to investigate the effects more closely

Consuming fruits and vegetables protects against depression
The new findings from the study are consistent with numerous cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. These had already shown that consuming fruits and vegetables together and separately is associated with a lower risk of depression. (as)

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