A recent study found people, especially women, who eat five-to-seven servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, have reported lower risk of stress.
Published in the British Medical Journal Open, the study findings indicate that people, who ate five-to-seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, had a 14 percent lower risk of stress than those who ate 0-4 servings.
"This study shows that moderate daily fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with lower rates of psychological stress," said Dr. Melody Ding from the University of Sydney in Australia.
"It also reveals that moderate daily vegetable intake alone is linked to a lower incidence of psychological stress. Moderate fruit intake alone appears to confer no significant benefit on people's psychological stress," Ding added further.
The team analysed more than 60,000 Australians aged 45 years and above and measured their fruit and vegetable consumption, lifestyle factors and psychological distress at two time points, 2006-08 and 2010. Psychological distress was measured using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, a 10-item questionnaire measuring general anxiety and depression.
The results suggested that people who ate three-to-four daily servings of vegetables had a 12 percent lower risk of stress. Women who ate three-to-four daily servings of vegetables had an 18 percent lower risk of stress.
These new findings are consistent with numerous cross sectional and longitudinal studies showing that fruits and vegetables, together and separately, are linked with a lower risk of depression and higher levels of well-being assessed by several measures of mental health.
"We found that fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruits and vegetables," explained first study author Binh Nguyen.