A new study that was conducted by researchers from Canada found out that eating less than 3 portions of fruit and vegetables per day increases a person’s risk of developing an anxiety disorder.
The study was led by researchers from the Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia.
The study looked at data that was gathered from 26,991 men and women that were aged anywhere from 45 years old to 85 years old.
The data that was gathered came from men and women that took part in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.
From the data that they received, the researchers found out that participants who ate less than 3 portions of fruit and vegetables per day had at least a 24 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
The findings, which were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, also showed that a participant’s levels of total body fat increased past 36 percent.
The likelihood of anxiety disorder increased by more than 70 percent, which the researchers said could be partly explained by the lack of fruit and vegetables in their diet.
Karen Davison, the lead author of the study, said, “Increased body fat may be linked to greater inflammation. Emerging research suggests that some anxiety disorders can be linked to inflammation.”
The researchers also found that in addition to the diet and measures of body fat, the rate of anxiety disorders amongst the participants also appeared to be linked with gender, income, immigrant status, health issues, and marital status.
The study also found out that 1 in 9 women had an anxiety disorder.
On the other hand, only 1 in 15 men had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
13.9 percent of the participants that were single had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and 7.8 percent of the participants that were living with a partner were diagnosed with a disorder.
Rates of anxiety were almost double among those people that had incomes under $20,000 compared with participants that were wealthier.
Rates of anxiety among those with 3 or more health conditions were 16.4 percent compared to 3 percent among those with no chronic conditions.
6.4 percent of immigrants to Canada had anxiety disorders compared to 9.3 percent of participants that were born in Canada.
The study also found out that women are more vulnerable to anxiety disorders compared to men.
Factors such as poverty and chronic pain can be stressful and can trigger or lead to being diagnosed with anxiety disorders.
Davison, the lead author of the study, said: “It is estimated that 10 percent of the global population will suffer from anxiety disorders which are a leading cause of disability.”
Davison added, “Our findings suggest that comprehensive approaches that target health behaviors, including diet, as well as social factors, such as economic status, may help to minimize the burden of anxiety disorders among middle-aged and older adults, including immigrants.”
Time to eat our veggies!