Eating fruits and vegetables may lower women's stress risk
New research provides yet another reason to include fruits and vegetables in the diet, after finding that eating up to seven servings per day can lower the risk of psychological stress for middle-aged women.
Researchers say that moderate intake of fruits and vegetables could lower the risk of stress, especially among women.
According to the American Psychological Association, around three quarters of adults in the United States report experiencing at least one symptom of stress over the past month, including irritability, anger, nervousness, anxiety, and depression.
Not only can stress take its toll on mental health, it can also have negative implications for physical health. A recent study reported by Medical News Today, for example, revealed how chronic stress can increase the risk of obesity, while other studies have linked stress to high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Of course, it is not always possible to escape stress; whether it is down to money worries, work demands, or family problems, all of us experience stress at some point in our lives.
The new study, however, suggests that simply including more fruits and vegetables in the diet may help to lower the risk of stress, particularly for women.
First study author Binh Nguyen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues recently reported their findings in BMJ Open.
Moderate fruit and veg intake reduced women's stress risk by 23 percent
Overall, the researchers found that adults who consumed three to four servings of fruits and vegetables daily were 12 percent less likely to experience stress than those who consumed zero to one serving daily.
Eating five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day was associated with a 14 percent lower risk of stress, compared with adults who consumed zero to four servings a day.
However, when looking at the results by sex, the researchers found that the link between fruit and vegetable intake and reduced stress was much stronger for women.
Women who ate five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day had a 23 percent lower risk of stress, compared with women who consumed zero to one serving per day.
Women who consumed two servings of fruits daily had a 16 percent lower risk of stress than women who consumed zero to one serving, while eating three to four servings of vegetables daily was linked to an 18 percent lower stress risk.
Eating more than seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day was not associated with lower stress risk, the team reports.
Courtesy : MNT