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Fruits and Vegetable Consumption Improves Mood in Youngsters

Update Date: Jan 24, 2013 01:49 AM EST

There is a popular saying, 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away', a recent study has given it a whole new meaning. It has been observed that daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables improves the mood in youngsters.

The study was done by Dr Tamlin Conner, Bonnie White, and Dr Caroline Horwath from the department of Human Nutrition of New Zealand University of Otago and published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

In their research, the scientists studied 281 volunteers with an average age of 20 years. They were asked to keep a daily track of their eating habits for 21 days. The details of the food consumed everyday had to be filled online, along with that the participants were also asked to list nine positive and negative adjectives each.

Before participating in the study, the volunteers had to fill in a form listing t heir  personal details like age, gender, ethnic origin, weight and height. This helped the scientists eliminate those individuals who suffered from any kind of eating disorder.

While filling up the online daily food intake diary, the volunteers were particularly asked about the serving of vegetables and fresh fruits. Vegetable juices, fruit juices and dry fruits were not included. The diary also noted the servings of junk food consumed by these youngsters like cookies, chips, cakes, etc.

The researchers found a positive association between the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and an improvement in the mood of the participants. The higher amount of these foods in the diet, the better the mood, no other food in their diet had a similar effect. On further study of these daily eating habits, the researchers found that consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables always resulted in a brighter mood of the individual the next day. The result held true for everyone in that group irrespective of their BMI (Body Mass Index).

""On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic than they normally did. After further analysis we demonstrated that young people would need to consume approximately seven to eight total servings of fruits and vegetables per day to notice a meaningful positive change. One serving of fruit or vegetables is approximately the size that could fit in your palm, or half a cup. My co-author Bonnie White suggests that this can be done by making half your plate at each meal vegetables and snacking on whole fruit like apples," Medicalxpress quoted Dr Connor.

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