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Everyone knows that eating the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables has great health benefits like protecting you from chronic diseases and leading to a longer life, just to name a few.
But now, researchers have discovered an added bonus you may not have seen coming: Your mood.
And in case one added bonus wasn’t enough, here’s another: It’s especially true for women. Women who eat 5-7 daily servings of fruit and vegetables have a 23% lower stress risk than women who eat little to none, according to a new study published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal Open.
In the study, researchers measured data—fruit and vegetable consumption, lifestyle factors, and psychological distress at two different time points—from more than 60,00 Australian adults. They found that being female (sorry, ladies), younger, overweight, or a smoker increased a person’s risk factor for psychological distress. What’s more, they discovered that as women’s fruit and vegetable daily intake increased (up to a certain threshold), their stress levels were more likely to decrease.
“We found that fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables,” said Binh Nguyen, study author and University of Sydney PhD student.
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