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An Apple A Day Keeps the Psychiatrist Away

We all know the childhood saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Now, new research is showing fruit like apples are not only healthy for your body but also your mind.

Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a study surveyed 428 adults from across the UK and looked at the relationship between their consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweet and savory food snacks, and their mental health.[R]

After taking demographic and lifestyle factors such as age, general health and exercise into account…
The researchers found that both nutrient-rich fruit and nutrient-poor savory snacks had a significant affect.

Based on the survey, the more often people ate fruit, the lower they scored for depression and the higher for mental wellbeing.

People who frequently snacked on nutrient-poor savory foods (such as crisps) were more likely to experience ‘everyday mental lapses’ and report lower mental wellbeing.

A greater number of lapses, was associated with higher reported symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, and lower mental wellbeing scores.

Lead author, PhD student Nicola-Jayne Tuck commented: “Very little is known about how diet may affect mental health and wellbeing, and while we did not directly examine causality here, our findings could suggest that frequently snacking on nutrient-poor savory foods may increase everyday mental lapses, which in turn reduces psychological health.

Other studies have found an association between fruit and vegetables and mental health, but few have looked at fruit and vegetables separately — and even fewer evaluate both frequency and quantity of intake.”

Here’s another interesting note.

The researchers also found that there was no direct association between eating vegetables and mental health.

Both fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, fiber and essential micronutrients which promote optimal brain function, but these nutrients can be lost during cooking.

As we are more likely to eat fruit raw, this could potentially explain its stronger influence on our psychological health.

Simply put, if you’re feeling down and could use a mood boost…

Try adding more fruit into your diet.

There’s no downside in trying.

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