A study led by Dr. Tamlin Conner of the Psychology Department in New Zealand’s University of Otago, has shown that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables in young adults could increase mental health, including increased motivation and vitality.
For their research, the team gathered 171 participants, all of whom were students between 18 and 25 years old. The participants were then split up into three groups over the course of 14 days.
The first group was made to resume their normal dietary habits and the second group personally received two extra servings of fresh vegetables and fruits such as carrots, oranges, apples, and kiwi fruit every day. The last group received vouchers for prepaid produce, and text messages reminding them to eat more vegetables and fruits.
The resulting data showed that the second group—whose members were personally handed additional fruits and vegetables—ingested these foods the most in 14 days. Most interestingly, they exhibited boosts in mental health, with particular improvements in motivation, vitality, and flourishing.
“The majority of research linking depression to dietary patterns has been longitudinal, meaning that possible differences in well-being may be established over a much longer period of time rather than our brief 2-week period,” claim the study authors.