An apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away; turns out, it works on shrinks too.
A study published in BMJ Open has found that one of the biggest factors associated with mental wellbeing was how often a person ate their fruits and vegetables. Drawing from the Health Survey for England, researchers were able to analyse responses from nearly 14,000 people, which included the types of food they ate, whether they drank or smoke, and how mentally healthy they were. One of the biggest predictors of good mental health was whether people ate above average (which couldn’t be that high; this is England we’re talking about) amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Surprisingly, another big predictor of good mental health was smoking. No, seriously: smoking. We’d venture to guess that it works as a coping strategy . . . or that, by the time age-related mental illness manifests itself, the smokers are dead.
So what’s associated with poor mental health? Above-average levels of drinking and obesity.
So, for your mental health: eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Don’t like ‘em? Well, find a way. Here’s Gordon Ramsay’s broccoli soup. Try that.