According to the researchers, high mental well-being is more than the absence of symptoms or illnesses. The condition of feeling good and functioning well is the key to true happiness.
Everyone knows eating 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day can improve your physical health, but did you know it's been proven to improve your mental health as well? The University of Warwick Medical School lead a study on this theory by Dr. Saverio Stranges. The team used data from the Health Survey for England, which included nearly 14,000 adults over the age of 16 that detailed information on the mental and physical health of participants, their health-related behaviors, demographics and socio-economic characteristics.
The team divided and assessed the participants' mental well-being using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. This put the top 15% of participants in the "high mental well-being" group, the bottom 15% in the low group, and those between 16-84% in the middle group. The research found the higher the vegetable and fruit intake was, the lesser the chance of low well-being. They also found that high and low mental well-being was typically associated with the participants' fruit and vegetable intake making the research even more compelling.
To be exact, 35.5% of participants with high mental well-being ate five or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day, compared with 6.8% who consumed less than one per day. While 31.4% of the individuals from the high mental well-being group ate three to four fruit and vegetable portions per daily, and 28.4% ate one to two per day.
According to the researchers, high mental well-being is more than the absence of symptoms or illnesses. The condition of feeling good and functioning well is the key to true happiness. They added that good relationships, happiness, optimism, self-esteem, and resilience are also part of this state of being.
Mental illness can be extremely costly and finding ways to stay healthy both mentally and physically are important. So next time you place your order, go grocery shopping, or walk past a bowl of fruit—think again. Be in control of your well being by eating the right foods. It will make you feel better.