Mental health has been an alarming concern for people around the world. With increasing stress and fast-paced lifestyle, there has been significant deterioration in one's mental condition. As per the World Health Organisation, there has been 13 percent rise in mental health condition till 2017, when compared to the situation in the last decade. "WHO estimates that the burden of mental health problems in India is 2443 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 100 00 population; the age-adjusted suicide rate per 100 000 population is 21.1. The economic loss due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is estimated at USD 1.03 trillion," read a statement on WHO website. Hence, health experts time and again stress upon importance of mental well-being for overall development.
While being happy and positive are the two major factors that lead to mental well-being, food plays an equally important role in this situation. For the uninitiated, what we eat is always said to have a direct link with our mind and body. For instance, adaptogens (like ashwagandha, mulethi etc) and antioxidants (like green tea) help relax our mind, reducing stress and anxiety.
A recent study has further found that raw fruits and vegetables, along with good sleep and exercise, are the three major pillars for mental wellness. Published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the findings stated, "Getting good quality sleep, exercising, and eating more raw fruits and vegetables predicts better mental health and well-being in young adults."
The study was conducted by researchers at University of Otago, who surveyed more than 1100 young adults. The diet pattern, sleep pattern, mental health and amount of physical activity of the participants were considered for the research.
It was found that people who ate 4.8 servings of raw fruits and vegetables per day had better mental health. But the ones who ate less than 2 servings and more than 8 servings had opposite reaction.
Good amount of sleep and adequate physical activities also showed positive effects on the participants' mental health.
"Sleep, physical activity, and a healthy diet can be thought of as three pillars of health, which could contribute to promoting optimal well-being among young adults, a population where the prevalence of mental disorders is high and well-being is suboptimal," stated lead author Shay-Ruby Wickham.
Considering the above factors, we say, include good amount raw fruits and salads in your daily diet to keep up a healthy mind and body.
Here're 5 Super Delicious Salad Options For You (With Recipes):
As the name says, this salad bowl is loaded with superfoods like berries, kale, chickpea etc that makes for a wholesome meal and includes all the essential nutrients in our diet. Click here for recipe.
Chickpea and Spinach Salad
This bowl of salad is loaded with the goodness of spinach, mint, chickpes et al and make for a fulfilling meal anytime you want. Click here for recipe.
All you need for this recipe are some carrots, green papaya and cucumber, finely sliced and mixed with honey-soy dressing to make it flavourful. Click here for recipe.
Pomegranate and Kiwi Salad
Prepared with juicy pomegranate, kiwi and orange, this salad is refreshing and adds a burst of flavours to your palate. Click here for recipe.
Raw Papaya Salad
A classic Asian salad bowl, raw papaya salad spells indulgence. It is a flavourful mix of raw papaya, cherry tomatoes, crunchy nuts, red and green chilli, palm sugar, lemon, salt and more. Click here for the recipe.
Eat healthy, stay happy!
(Note: The food tips are not a part of the study)