Welcome to our blog, where my family and I share our journey toward fostering wellness.
As we navigate through the challenges brought by the pandemic, it’s natural for our mental state to be affected. However, there invigorate our minds with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, as highlighted in an article published in Frontiers in Psychology. The best part? It doesn’t have to break the bank, but rather stems from the bountiful Earth.
The study revealed that individuals who prioritize consuming fruits and vegetables are more likely to experience optimal mental states. These states encompass greater happiness, positive mood, life satisfaction, and socio-emotional flourishing. In essence, embracing a diet rich in nature’s offerings can help us discover a profound sense of meaning and purpose in life.[i]
Who would have thought to eat your fruit and veggies had such a powerful, yet scientifically validated, effect on your mental state! This article also indicated that “there is now good evidence that higher fruit and vegetable intake is related to better mental health. Research has established that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower incidence of mental disorders, including lower rates of depression, perceived stress, and negative mood”[i]
Mental Health in Australia
According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Health Survey, around 4.8 million Australians (20.1 percent) were estimated to have a mental or behavioral condition in 2017–18[ii]. Given this, it only makes sense to consider the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables. Surprisingly, the 2017-18 National Health Survey reveals that “1 in 2 people aged 18 and over (49%) did not eat the recommended 2 serves of fruit, while over 9 in 10 (92%) did not eat the recommended 5–6 serves of vegetables”[iii].
Could the poor mental health status of many Australians be related to their inadequate consumption of fruits and veggies? In my clinical practice, I have observed that clients who seek support for emotional or chronic stress-related issues often turn to food as a source of comfort. Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables rarely make it onto their list of comfort foods. In fact, most often, they are absent from the list entirely.
However, my observations, along with feedback from my clients, indicate that when they consciously choose to increase their fruit and vegetable intake, they report improvements in their mental well-being and increased energy levels. Many even notice positive changes in their weight. Therefore, the next time you feel stressed, I encourage you to turn to fruits and veggies instead of becoming overwhelmed. Remember, it’s important to prioritize the consumption of fruits and vegetables before reaching a point of high stress. Act now and start making them a vital part of your diet to support optimal mental health.
You can join the growing number of Australians (8 percent) who already eat the recommended 5 to 6 servings of vegetables. The best part is, there are no expensive membership fees to be a part of this group! Simply incorporate 5 to 6 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits into your daily routine.
I have listed the top 10 fresh fruits and vegetables associated with better mental health outcomes, as identified by the article published in Frontiers in Psychology. It’s worth noting that the authors concluded that raw fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) is superior to processed FVI in terms of impact on mental states.
Let’s prioritise our wellness by nourishing our bodies and minds with the goodness of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The top 10 Fruits & Veggies to improve your mental state [i]
The Dellas family’s main takeaway in this blog is for you to seriously consider incorporating 5 to 6 servings of vegetables and 2 serving of fruit into your daily routine! Remember to diversify with various colored vegetables throughout the day since it’s impractical to consume them all in one sitting.
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Until my next blog. Get fruit and vegged-out!
Dr. George Dellas (registered Chinese medicine practitioner)