Increase Produce Consumption for Mental Health




According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, only one in 10 adults meet the daily recommended intake of one-and-a-half to two cups of fruits and two to three cups of vegetables. It has been well established that meeting these guidelines as part of a balanced diet can potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Research is now starting to look beyond the role produce plays in physical health and more on how fruits and vegetables may impact mental health, as well.

A recent large longitudinal study published in Social Science Medicine using General Health Questionnaire GHQ-12 suggests that mental well-being increases with quantity and frequency of fruits and vegetables consumed. Although these are not causation findings, the results do suggest a link between high fruit and vegetable consumption and improved mental health.

Summer is the ideal time to break the statistic of low fruit and vegetable consumption and improve our mental state. Seek out flavorful, local produce or grow it using simple supplies.  Even with limited space, many vegetables can easily be grown in pots. Grow a salad mix by planting lettuce, spinach and swiss chard in a well-draining bowl on the doorstep. 

For more tips from Giant nutritionists and class listings, visit GiantFoodStores.com/wellness.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Earthbound Artisan

Providing a unique perspective is something Earthbound Artisan does well, especially when it comes to caring about the Earth and our impact upon it.

Terrashield Outdoor Blend Plus Arborvitae Equals Mother Nature’s Defense

Chronic use of chemical-laden products as insect repellent has been linked to allergic reactions, seizures and brain malfunction, and can even be toxic to pets. There's a natural solution...

Urban Edge Farm

Two years ago, Benjamin Weiss, an herbalist, certified permaculture designer and owner of Susquehanna Sustainable Enterprises, LLC, launched Urban Edge Farm, located within the city limits of Lancaster in an area once ravaged by Hurricane Agnes.

Lyme Education & and Resources

Self-Awareness Brings Authenticity to Fatherhood

What can a man do to face his own story and learn who he is, accept the pain and glory, and move to a place of freedom so that he can father his children and journey with them into adulthood?