Fruit and vegetables and mental health: an emerging research topic with multiple pathways

Infographic – Fruit and vegetables, valuable sources of nutrients to support mental health

Our brain, like any organ, is affected by the food we eat. Numerous studies have established the links between a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, mental health and brain function. These studies reveal the protective effect of healthy eating habits on neurodegenerative diseases, cognitive decline and depression. While the specific nutrients and mechanisms involved have yet to be established, the available data suggest a positive role for several families of nutrients, mainly found in fruit and vegetables. Through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, bioactive compounds such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may exert positive and protective effects across a range of processes, such as neurotransmission, neuronal growth and repair, and prevention of cellular damage. All these processes may play a role in the pathogenesis of depression, one of the many other mental disorders (Campisi et al., 2020).

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