You already know you should eat fruits and vegetables for the nutrients they provide the body. But a new British study has again shown that the health benefits of produce don’t end there. Researchers at the University of Leeds have shown that eating fruits and vegetables can also improve your mood and mental well-being.
Researchers found that people whose diets included more fruits and vegetables reported being happier. Those who ate even just one extra portion of produce a day reported better life satisfaction than those who ate less. Researchers estimated that the extra portion could have the same effect on your mood as walking an additional 10 continuous minutes or more eight days a month.
Previous research conducted in Australia and New Zealand, and published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, showed a diet rich in fruits and vegetables makes people feel happier.
The latest study, entitled Lettuce Be Happy was published in Social Science and Medicine. It is based on a larger group of people who were followed for a longer period of time.
In the study of 68,273 Swedish men and women aged 45 to 83 years who were followed for 16 years, participants who most closely followed an anti-inflammatory diet had an 18% lower risk of all-cause mortality, a 20% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality, and a 13% lower risk of cancer mortality, when compared with those who followed the diet to a lesser degree. Smokers who followed the diet experienced even greater benefits when compared with smokers who did not follow the diet.
Anti-inflammatory foods consist of fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, whole grain bread, breakfast cereal, low-fat cheese, olive oil and canola oil, nuts, chocolate, and moderate amounts of red wine and beer. Pro-inflammatory foods include unprocessed and processed red meat, organ meats, chips, and soft-drink beverages.
Read more at ScienceDaily.com
Yet another study is showing low carbohydrate diets, such as the fashionable paleo and keto variety, may be dangerous and could lead to increased risk of dying of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
A healthy and balanced diet includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, and potatoes.
Popular weight loss diets, that some may view as beneficial in the short-term, may come with a hefty long-term price tag.
“One thing is sure,” Dr Maciej Banach, professor of medicine at Medical University of Lodz, Poland, told Newsweek: “we should avoid [low carbohydrate diets].”
Banach explained low carbohydrate diets have been regarded as beneficial for our health in the past, but based on his team’s research it is now “clear” that is not true. And even though such regimes aid weight loss, the public should be “very careful” when following very restrictive diets, particularly those that feature no carbohydrates for long periods of time. Continue reading
Lesley Beck, Globe and Mail:
If your goal is to eat a healthier diet – one that’s packed with nutrient- and antioxidant-rich whole foods – consider adding more home-cooked meals to your menu.
Research has found that people who frequently eat home-cooked meals have a higher intake of fruit and vegetables, healthier cholesterol and blood sugar levels and a lower risk of being overweight.
Depending on how you cook and prep your foods, though, you may be unknowingly undermining your diet.
- Washing raw meat or poultry won’t make it clean or free of bacteria
- Overheated your cooking oil
- Immediately adding chopped garlic to the sauté pan reduces the beneficial phytochemicals
- Over cooking meat contains more cancer-causing carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
- Overcooking cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts) can strip them of their cancer-fighting potential
- Removing the peel or toss away stems and green tops reduces valuable fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Read the article for more details.