Posted on Apr 06, 2017, 6 a.m.
Study finds that increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables can have a significant impact on the way one feels in merely a couple weeks.
Increasing one's intake of diversely colored vegetables and fruits can improve mood and well-being in as little as a few weeks. This is not conjecture. It is a fact backed by real science. A University of Otago study found that upping one's intake of fruits and vegetables really does boost well-being in less than half a month.
The study was performed by five academicians. Dr. Tamlin Conner of the University of Otago's Department of Psychology led the study. His group investigated how vegetable and fruit consumption altered psychological well-being. The study was comprised of 171 individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 that were separated into three groups. One group continued eating as they normally would. The second group was sent text messages as reminders to eat additional vegetables and fruits. This second group was also provided with pre-paid vouchers for such healthy food to boot. The third group was provided with two additional servings of produce including oranges, apples, carrots and kiwi. Members of this third group indicated that their psychological well-being skyrocketed along with their inspiration and even their vitality.
How Vouchers and Text Reminders Impacted Consumption
The group provided with text message reminders and $10 vouchers for fresh fruits and veggies did not exhibit an improvement to the extent of the group that was personally handed fruits and vegetables. In fact, they consumed more cooked vegetables mixed into meals and casseroles. It is worth noting that the group provided with fresh veggies and fruits at no-cost ate most of them uncooked. Many nutritionists are adamant that cooked vegetables lose their nutrients after exposed to heat during the cooking process.
Why the Study's Results Matter
The results of this intriguing study were published in the journal called PLOS ONE. Dr. Conner has stated he is satisfied with the results as the study shows healthy eating really does boost well-being in a surprisingly small period of time. He has been quoted as saying people should be provided with more vegetables and fruits rather than simply being reminded to consume these healthy foods.
Perhaps our tech-driven society will soon reach the point where such healthy food is provided to the masses at no cost as a result of advances in automation. Those who live or spend time in hospitals, dorms, daycare centers and workplaces could eventually be provided with such healthy foods to improve morale and consequently, productivity.
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PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171206