People who don’t eat fruits and vegetables are more susceptible to anxiety: Study

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The study finds that people who eat less than three fruits and vegetables every day, have at least a 24 per cent higher chance of getting diagnosed with anxiety disorder. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

What you eat could directly be linked to how anxious you feel. A recent study has found that people who do not consume a lot of fruits and vegetables could be more prone to bouts of anxiety than people who eat them on the regular. It has been established that mental health is dependent on a lot of factors, including diet, sleep and physical activity. As such, if your lifestyle lacks any one of these, your overall health can get affected.

Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the study finds that people who eat less than three fruits and vegetables every day, have at least a 24 per cent higher chance of getting diagnosed with anxiety disorder. According to the researchers, this could be because in the absence of healthy foods, the increase in body fat can give rise to inflammation, which in turn can cause anxiety disorders.

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For the study, the research team had analysed the data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. The data included details on some 26,991 men and women between the age groups of 45 and 85. Researchers said that as the levels of body fat increase beyond 36 per cent, the possibility of getting an anxiety disorder goes up by 70 per cent, adding that more women than men are susceptible.

The study goes on to emphasise that beside body composition, anxiety disorders can also affect people based on their gender, marital status, income and other health issues. In fact, one in nine women is believed to have an anxiety disorder as opposed to one in 15 men, it said.

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Now more than ever, people are beginning to understand the importance of diet and staying healthy. As demands of daily life afflict almost everyone around the world, the need to stay in shape both mentally and physically becomes of paramount importance. Besides anxiety, a bad diet can lead to mood swings, specifically around the time of winters, and in places where there is less sunlight.

Anxiety disorders can range from post traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks, to obsessive compulsive disorder and social phobia.