Several recent studies highlight that having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can improve your mental health.
Researchers found that just adding one more serving of fruit or vegetable to your daily intake can lift your mood. Studies from around the world have all found an association between eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and good mental health.
A 2022 study, for instance, involving more than 4,000 women found that participants who ate at least five servings of vegetables a day had 19 percent lower risk of developing depression over a period of 15 years compared to those eating a maximum of one serving. When it came to fruit consumption, four portions daily instead of one resulted in a 25 percent lower risk of depression.
Researchers hypothesize that eating more plant foods can make you feel full more quickly leaving less room for unhealthy foods. In addition, plant foods provide more fiber which is essential for a healthier microbiome in our gut. Microbiome plays an important role in minimizing inflammation.
If you wish to increase your fruit and vegetable intake, try "mindful eating" which means you pay attention to when you feel hungry, when you feel full and what causes you to want to eat. Also, eliminating unhealthy foods from your kitchen will help you to make better food decisions. When cooking, experiment with different vegetables and try preparing them with different herbs and spices to help adjust your palate to the vegetarian fare.