Moderate produce intake linked to lower stress levels
According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month. With nearly half reporting that their stress has increased over the past year, it’s even more important to understand strategies to reduce stress. As we learn more about the relationship between diet and mental health, we see that each bite can help improve how we feel both physically and emotionally.
A new longitudinal study, published in the British Medical Journal Open, observed over 60,000 Australians 45 years or older between 2006-2010. Each participant’s psychological distress level was evaluated using a general anxiety and depression scale while produce consumption was calculated using a short questionnaire. Interestingly, characteristics such as being female, younger, having lower education and income, being overweight or obese, a current smoker and being sedentary were all associated with high levels of stress.
To boil it down, people who ate 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables daily had a 14% lower risk of stress as compared to those who ate 0-4 servings daily. And when they looked at women specifically, benefits jumped to 23% lower risk of stress at 5-7 servings daily, as compared to those who consumed only 0-4 servings. Everyone in the study benefited from lower stress levels due to fruits and veggies, but it is especially important for ladies to keep in mind as they are prone to higher levels of stress.
If you’re in need of some inspiration try some of our seasonal favorites! You can start your day with Banana Breakfast Pudding or take advantage of apple season with our Rosemary-Apple Napoleons.
Published November 1, 2017