Food has a huge role to play in boosting the emotional well-being of both staff and pupils. A large body of research is emerging that proves just how powerful our plate is in boosting our mood and fighting depression and anxiety. This is one of the many messages we are passionate about promoting so that school staff are in the best position possible to feel happy and healthy.
There’s a long list of studies out there that have looked into the role that diet plays in well-being but I wanted to share just a few of them with you.
One study that gathered information from 50,000 people in the UK suggests that higher fruit and vegetable intake is associated with better mental well-being1. The authors state that “even modest changes in the consumption patterns of individuals could lead to substantive positive effects for the wellbeing of large cohorts of the population”.
Another study also aimed to find out whether increasing fruit and veg intake will lead to improvements in psychological well-being2. This study looked at the food diaries of 12,385 Australians over 6 years and found “increased fruit and vegetable consumption was predictive of increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being”. The authors believe it’s important people understand how quickly the mental health benefits can occur when eating more of these foods!
And a 2014 study surveyed 13,983 adults also found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables report higher levels of well-being3.
2. Mujcic R and J Oswald A. Evolution of Well-Being and Happiness After Increases in Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables. American Journal of Public. 2016. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303260
3. Stranges S, Samaraweera, P.C., Taggart F, Kandala N.B. and Stewart-Brown S. Major health-related behaviours and mental wellbeing in the general population: The Health Survey for England. BMJ Open. 2014. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/4/9/e005878.full.pdf
4. Agarwal U, Mishra S, Xu J, Levin S, Gonzales J, Barnard ND. A multicenter randomized controlled trial of a nutrition intervention program in a multiethnic adult population in the corporate setting reduces depression and anxiety and improves quality of life: the GEICO Study. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2015. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24524383/