A new study tested the psychological benefits of a two-week clinical intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in 171 young adults (aged 18–25).
Participants were randomly assigned into
- a diet-as-usual control condition,
- an ecological momentary intervention (EMI) condition involving text message reminders to increase their consumption plus a voucher to purchase fruits and vegetables,
- or a fruit and vegetable intervention (FVI) condition in which participants were given two additional daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to consume on top of their normal diet.
Only participants in the last group (FVI) condition showed improvements to their psychological well-being with increases in vitality, flourishing, and motivation relative to the other groups. No changes were found for depressive symptoms, anxiety, or mood.
Giving young adults fresh fruit and vegetables to eat can have psychological benefits even over a brief period of time.