Showing posts with label benefits of eating fruits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label benefits of eating fruits. Show all posts

Monday, January 27, 2020

What is the relationship between eating fruits and depression?

Benefits of Eating Fruits
DEPRESSION is a big buzz across the globe!!!

According to a study reported in WHO (World Health Organization), it is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. In this world, every 1 in 6 people of the age group 10-19 years is suffering from depression. According to WHO, India is the most depressed country in the world.

What exactly is depression?

Depression is the serious medical illness that is characterized by feeling moody or sad most of the day, tired, worthless, guilty, restless, unable to concentrate on anything, difficulty making decisions, thinking about death or suicide, and sleeping too much or too less.

If there is a cost-effective method of preventing this deadly disease or improving your mental health, would you like to try it?

Data from decades of research by scientists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, and clinicians reveal that eating raw fruits and vegetables in a good amount on a regular basis will lead to fewer symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Isn’t it an easy and cheap method of getting better mental health?

What nutritional deficiencies may cause depression?

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Vitamin B complex
  4. Folate and Amino acids
  5. Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Iodine, and Selenium

Can eating fresh fruits reverse these nutritional deficiencies?

Yes. Most fruits like Apple, Apricots, peach, Bananas, Grapes, Kiwi, Mango, and others have high folic acid content and vitamin B1, B2, B6, zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamin A and C.

There are many other fruits that are rich in nutrients linked to depression prevention. So, doctors keep recommending fruits for good health. Eating fruits daily is important not only to prevent depression but because there are many health benefits of eating fruits, as discussed in the previous blog.

Hopefully, this clarifies the relationship between fruits and depression.

But, you cannot expect to absorb all the nutrients from just fruits to keep depression away. Because they are not the source of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B 12 which are essential factors linked to poor mental health.

What food products are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B 12 and D?

  1. Fish (salmon, sardines, oysters, etc.)
  2. Vegetables like sprouts, spinach
  3. Flax seeds
  4. Chia seeds
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Walnuts
  7. Soybeans
  8. Meat
  9. Cheese and Egg Yolks
  10. Dairy products from grass-fed animals
Since fruits are not the only way out, the Mediterranean diet is the getaway!

What is the connection between the Mediterranean diet and depression?

Mediterranean diet comprises - fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes (dried beans, lentils and peas), cereals, and fish - which are all important sources of B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and nutrients linked to depression prevention.

In a study (1) published online by Cambridge University Press, results showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet ensures the prevention of depression. According to this study consumption of folate, Vitamin B12 is inversely associated with depression.

So, if people with depression starts with a Mediterranean dietary pattern, they can prevent and reduce this mental disorder.

In a similar study (2) involving participants aged 65 years and above living in the Mediterranean region, it was found that people consuming the Mediterranean diet have less prevalence of depression when compared to those who did not follow the diet.

Another study (3) published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, concludes that older adults with depression have a low intake of fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants.

Again there is vast literature on this topic and most studies have reached a common conclusion that taking Mediterranean food or diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and antioxidants along with omega 3 supplements can keep depression at bay.

Wrap up
As per discussion, there are many health benefits of eating fruits including the prevention of depression. However, they only play a small role in this matter. Mediterranean diet is more beneficial than eating only fruits or supplements alone to reduce the risk of mental health disorders. So, if you are not focusing too much on fruits or vegetables in your daily diet, then it is time to change your nutritional plan. Make sure to consult your dietician for best results!

  • Sanchez-Villegas A, Henriquez P, Bes-Rastrollo M, Doreste J. Mediterranean diet and depression. Public health nutrition. 2006 Dec;9(8A):1104-9.
  • Masana MF, Haro JM, Mariolis A, Piscopo S, Valacchi G, Bountziouka V, Anastasiou F, Zeimbekis A, Tyrovola D, Gotsis E, Metallinos G. Mediterranean diet and depression among older individuals: The multinational MEDIS study. Experimental gerontology. 2018 Sep 1;110:67-72.
  • Payne ME, Steck SE, George RR, Steffens DC. Fruit, vegetable, and antioxidant intakes are lower in older adults with depression. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012 Dec 1;112(12):2022-7.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Miracles of Fruits That Can Change Your Life

Benefits of Eating Fruits
Most people focus on green vegetables and diet food but ignore fruits.  The term “healthy eating” makes no sense if your diet does not include fruits.

Regardless of variety, all fruits are power-packed with a countless number of micro and macronutrients-

  • Vitamin C, E, and K
  • Potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, iron 
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytochemicals
  • Low harmful fat and sodium 
  • Low calories 
  • Folic acid
  • Carotenes

Why you cannot afford to miss fruits in your diet?

Being natural sources of essential vitamins and minerals, fruits promote the healthy functioning of the body.  They have the power to lower the risk of chronic health illnesses like –

Do you know fruits are safe to eat when you have type 2 diabetes? Fiber and polyphenols in fruits reduce insulin resistance.  Less amount of calories in fruits help in controlling the blood sugar level, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which are common in people with Diabetes.

Fruits are fibrous and regular consumption aids in digestion and excretion.  Add it to your diet and the wonderful laxative effect of fruits will improve bowel movements and keep gastritis and constipation away. Colon cancer is a deadly disease! But fruits like Banana reduce the risk of this cancer.  

Blood Pressure and Hypertension
Banana, apple, mango and other fruits rich in potassium help in lowering blood pressure and hypertension, which are the contributors to heart disease.

Fruits decrease the bad cholesterol level in our body which triggers heart diseases and stroke. Daily intake of fruits increases good cholesterol level and reduces the risk of heart ailments.

Kidney and Bone Diseases
Citrus fruits like lemons are low in sodium but rich in Vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant.  These fruits can reduce the chances of kidney stones by increasing citrate in urine.

We all have heard that calcium makes bones stronger. Fruits are loaded with calcium as well as Vitamin K and both are necessary for healthy bones.

Stress and Anxiety
Fruits like lemons boost mood, lift energy and reduce stress levels. Potassium-rich fruits like Banana also reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Are fruits beneficial for cancer patients?

Decades of scientific research confirm that fruits are beneficial for patients when consumed during and after treatment.

There are certain compounds in fruits that slow down tumor growth and can minimize the side effects of cancer treatment. For Example -
  • Blueberries and pomegranates  improve memory impairment caused by cancer treatment
  • Citrus fruits  like Oranges reduce cancer cell growth and Vitamin C in them strengthens the immune system
  • Fruits rich in antioxidants like Strawberries are known to decrease cancer cell growth

Can fruits make you beautiful and charming?

There are myriads of skin health benefits of fruits.  You must eat fruits daily because

  • Fruits  keep skin supple and hydrated
  • Antioxidants in fruits boost skin radiance and prevent skin sagging  
  • Apple, banana, and berries can kick acne 
  • Papaya rejuvenates skin and hair 
  • Grapes help in cleaning skin and body 
  • Citrus fruits have a brilliant anti-aging effect and are hair stimulants 
  • Kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries promote hair growth
  • Fruits stimulate shiny, soft, and  healthy hair growth  and prevent premature graying
People who hate fruits rely on skincare products made of fruit extracts 
to reap all the above benefits. 

Well, do not forget that cosmetics do contain hell lot of chemicals.  Moreover, dermatological creams are pricey investments!!!

On the other hand, fruits are available year-round and are cost-effective. Eating one fruit a day can shower you with physical, mental and a plethora of skin health benefits.

So, what is a smart investment for you?

The health benefits of fruits are undeniable! But, too much of anything is not safe 

Not all fruits may be beneficial for you depending on your health status, weight, age, eating patterns and other factors.

Doctors recommend two to five servings of fruit per day for a healthy person, but the, servings will not be same if you have certain dietary restrictions or following a ketogenic diet. So, visit a dietitian for a well-balanced diet plan.

Bottom line

There are innumerable benefits of eating fruits and you cannot afford to miss this wonderful gift of nature.

Eat fruits daily and have a healthy and happy life!