Originally published October 18 2014
Organic fruits and veggies improve mental health as well as physical wellbeing
by Julie Wilson staff writer
(NaturalNews) Mental well-being is something many of us probably don't think too much about, likely because many of us have it. But for those of us that don't, defining what that means and understanding its impact on our lives is crucial to discovering true happiness, or contentment, which some experts argue is even better.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines mental well-being as having a positive perspective of one's life, shaped by good living conditions, employment, meaningful relationships and positive emotions.
Low mental well-being, however, has been linked to mental illness and even linked to creating social inequalities. So being unhappy isn't just miserable, but it contributes to mental health problems later on in life, scientists say.
Be happy AND cancer free by eating your organic fruits and veggies!
Of course while living in a safe, stable home and being loved by someone denotes well-being, the results of a new study identifies diet as a pivotal contributor.
Researchers with the University of Warwick's Medical School suggest fruit and vegetable consumption plays a major role in mental and physical health. To arrive at their conclusion, scientists measured mental well-being by reviewing data from the Health Survey for England.
The surveys reviewed were completed by 14,000 English participants aged 16 and over, with 56 percent of those being female and 44 percent of them male. Mental and physical health, health related behaviors, demographics and socioeconomic characteristics were detailed in the information collected.
The results: 33 percent of respondents who had high mental well-being ate five or more portions of fruit and
vegetables a day, while only 6.8 percent of them ate less than one portion.
About 31 percent of those with high mental well-being ate three to four portions
and 28.4 percent ate one to two, the study found. Researchers were also able to
associate other health-related behaviors with mental well-being, such as
smoking, but only fruit and veggie consumption was "consistently
associated in both men and women."
Organic fruits and veggies likely offer enhanced results, providing even more benefits
The results are pretty astounding, so just imagine how enhanced they'd be if you consumed only organic fruits and veggies, as they've been proven to contain more nutrients, and less pesticide residue, making them overall much healthier.
One study found that switching to an all-organic diet would be equivalent to adding one or two daily servings of fruits and veggies to your diet, reported Natural News.
Only fruits and veggies consistent with feeling good
"Along with smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption was the health-related behavior most consistently associated with both low and high mental well-being," said Dr. Saverio Stranges, the study's lead author.
"These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role as a driver, not just of physical, but also of mental well-being in the general population".
Experts warn that while low mental well-being contributes to mental illness, high mental well-being helps ward off not just cancer, but other serious physical diseases.
"Mental illness is hugely costly to both the individual and society, and mental well-being underpins many physical diseases, unhealthy lifestyles and social inequalities in health," said co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown.
"It has become very important that we begin to research the factors that enable people to maintain a sense of well-being," she added.
Optimism, resilience, self-esteem and positive relationships help induce mental well-being, which allow us to function and feel food, according to scientists.
"Our findings add to the mounting evidence that fruit and vegetable intake could be one such factor and mean that people are likely to be able to enhance their mental well-being at the same time as preventing heart disease and cancer," said Stewart-Brown.
The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale was used to make assessments in this study. The top 15 percent of participants were categorized as having High mental well-being, with the bottom 15 percent as Low and the middle 16-84 percent as Middle.
A copy of the study can be found at BMJ Open, an online, open access journal dedicated to promoting transparency in publishing medical research.
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