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  #1   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 08:08
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Default Vegetables and fruit and stress relief? Really?

A new study from Australia is popping up in my news feed. On its face, it seems to make sense.

Quote:
Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is associated with less stress, according to new research. The findings revealed people who ate at least 470 grams of fruit and vegetables daily had 10 per cent lower stress levels than those who consumed less than 230 grams.

Eating more fruit and vegetables linked to less stress, study finds


It might even be true. But it certainly isn't true for me, and I wonder just how much that's true for other people: especially those, like me, who are dealing with autoimmune issues.

I wonder if this study got the cart before the horse.

Quote:
The findings revealed people who ate at least 470 grams of fruit and vegetables daily had 10 per cent lower stress levels than those who consumed less than 230 grams. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per day.

Lead researcher, PhD candidate Simone Radavelli-Bagatini from ECU's Institute for Nutrition Research, said the study strengthens the link between diets rich in fruit and vegetables and mental wellbeing.

"We found that people who have higher fruit and veggie intakes are less stressed than those with lower intakes, which suggests diet plays a key role in mental wellbeing," said Ms Radavelli-Bagatini.


What if people "who have higher fruit and veggie intakes" are less stressed to begin with? Isn't this one of those healthy mindset fallacies?

Even if we gift them some kind of reliance on data that isn't the notoriously unreliable food diaries. Health-conscience people eat more fruit and vegetables. Because that's what they have been told.

But fruit has sugar and vegetables have lectins. And both of those are known inflammatory sources. I go by Dr. Teresa Wahls, who helped me put my autoimmune into remission. And here's what she has to say:

Quote:
by TL Wahls · 2019 · Cited by 16 — Wahls initially theorized that detailed guidance to increase intake of specific foodstuffs would facilitate increased intake of nutrients key to neuronal health (Wahls™ diet). Dr. Wahls further theorized restriction of lectins would reduce intestinal permeability and CNS inflammation (WahlsElim version).

Review of Two Popular Eating Plans within the Multiple Sclerosis Community: Low Saturated Fat and Modified Paleolithic


To be clear, I think leptin sensitivity can vary widely. But if someone is sensitive, all kinds of mayhem can ensue.

Dr. Georgia Ede put my mind at ease about avoiding vegetables and sticking to low sugar fruits like zucchini, tomato (no skins or seeds) and berries. Because just because vitamins and anti-oxidants show up in the lab doesn't mean it winds up in our body.

Now, I eat in a way where I lower my oxidation stress at the source.

Also, people under stress aren't hitting the salad bar...
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 08:25
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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Magnesium. The primary source in our diet for magnesium is fruit and veg. According to Dr Berg, green leafy veggies, 6 cups a day. Since adding in Mg to my supplements again, my temper doesn't flair, 😂.

I've often wondered if road rage and shootings would decrease by simply supplementing Mg.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 08:42
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Bob-a-rama Bob-a-rama is offline
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I put mineral drops in my tap water, high in mg and tons of trace minerals. (Concentrace brand)

I've read that many minerals are best absorbed if they are suspended in water. I don't remember where I read that, it was decades ago, or if science has learned differently since then.

Anyway, it works for me.

Bob
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 09:09
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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I couldn't help but notice that the article didn't make any distinction between fresh, canned, and frozen veggies (or dried, in the case of fruits), types of fruits and veggies, or preparation methods of fruits and veggies. You could be eating 470 g of bananas daily, or 470 g of iceberg lettuce - huge difference in nutritional value (whether or not it's accessible or detrimental in your particular digestive system). Or you could be eating 470 g of vegetable soup, and assume the water in the can should be counted as part of your veggie intake. Or you could be eating frozen dinners but since the frozen dinner has veggies and a fruit based dessert in it, you count the weight of the entire frozen dinner as fruit and vegetable intake.

If all you're eating is fresh veggies, mostly high moisture veggies (iceberg lettuce will weigh a lot more for the same volume of leafy greens than fresh spinach), and considering high moisture zucchini to be on the same anti-stress nutritional level as potatoes (considered by the USDA to be in the veggie category), or potato chips (made from the potatoes that are considered to be a veggie), corn (actually a grain, but found in the produce dept, and sold as if it's a veggie), raisins (dried fruit - weighs a lot less than whole grapes, so a huge difference between the metabolic and dietary effects of 470 g of grapes vs 470 g of raisins)... well the list can go on and on. Not all veggies and fruits are created equal, and they're certainly not all being consumed in ways that contribute to their nutritional equality, so I can't see how they could possibly contribute to anti-stress in the same way either.

Merely stating that 470 g of fruits and veggies each day is some kind of anti-stress threshold is very misleading, even for those who have no digestive, metabolic, or autoimmune issues associated with eating that much fruit and veggies.

Of course the fact that it says nothing at all about how this information was gathered - based on actual records of food consumed each day, or recall food diaries that could be wildly different from actual intake over the course of months or years.

Also, what do they consider to be "less stress"? And is that based on the individual's assessment of their stress level? Or on some analyst's perception of what is more or less stress?

Someone who is single, earning more than enough money to support themselves comfortably, has a nice home, no daunting expenses, a job that they love, no health issues (basically life is rosy) - that person is going to have less stress overall than a single mom with 5 kids to support, in a crowded, sub-standard living situation, on a low income, working a job they hate because there's nothing else she can do when needing to be home as much as possible with her kids, has chronic health issues, and is dealing with an ex who ignores court ordered support payments (basically life is one big stress piled on top of another). How can you possibly compare eating a certain amount of fruits and veggies (which could be in a myriad of forms) each day and say that one factor somehow has more to do with their perceived stress level than whether their live is is rosy, or life is one stress piled on top of another? Or anything in between?

There's also the factor of people who have always been extremely stressed, whether there's really anything wrong or not ("If you don't think you have anything to worry about, you're obviously overlooking something") as compared to people who have never allowed the everyday stresses or even suddenly high stress situations to rule their lives ("Nobody ever changed anything by worrying about it. Worry is a waste of time and effort").

I dunno, it just seems like they're trying to push more fruits and veggies, without any real description of what that means other than "470 g daily", and without providing much at all to support the conclusion that people who eat 470 g of fruits and veggies are less stressed.
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 10:26
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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They could be feeling 10% less stress because they think they are saving the planet with all their plant eating. I ate like that at one time, but was always hungry and feeling stressed, bloated, headachy & brain foggy. And legumes make my joints swell and ache. I feel 90% less stress eating mostly meat, poultry, fish & eggs, with a few berries and green vegs as condiments (Wahls' low-inflammation, low-sugar suggestions), and magnesium supplements.

Last edited by deirdra : Mon, May-17-21 at 10:38.
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 13:12
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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470 grams is .46kg or 1lb. This is for people who eat at least 470 grams of fruit and vegetables. Doubt I could eat more even over 3 meals:

Quote:
Methods
In Australian men and women, dietary intake was assessed using a Food Frequency Questionnaire in 1999–2000 (n = 8689). Perceived stress was assessed using a validated Perceived Stress Questionnaire [PSQ index values ranging from 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest)]. Serum carotenoids were measured in a subset of participants (n = 1187) using high-performance liquid chromatography. Multivariable-adjusted linear and logistic regression were performed to investigate the associations between FV intake and perceived stress.

The old food questionnaire. Epidemiology at its finest. No mention of any questions asking what else was consumed. We've learned to value food questionnaires as they are as accurate as weather predictions in New England . . .
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 14:25
Zei Zei is offline
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I'm voting for healthy user bias as the link between eating a lot of veg and fruit plant matter and also leading a less stressful lifestyle, that is, doing healthy things (some of which are actually healthy!) to take care of one's self. I personally pretty much avoid most fruits/veg and am doing nutritionally pretty well without the bloating and other unwanted digestive effects those plants gave me.
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  #8   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 15:27
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Agreed with everyone else's comments here. What silliness to associate produce with "less stress". There's way too wide a range of lifestyle factors, as Calianna pointed out. That's almost exactly what I was going to say.

An analogy I often use: imagine if someone reported that wearing dress shoes to work is associated with more stress, or higher rate of heart attacks, or something like that. Do dress shoes cause heart attacks? Of course not. It just means that there are a lot of people who work stressful jobs that require office attire. A lot of people who wear casual shoes work less stressful jobs, but not all of them. Conversely, a lot of office-attire-wearing people love their jobs and don't feel stressed out. The silliness comes from there being no clear hypothesis of causation. The overly-stressed lawyer isn't going to prevent a heart attack by showing up in slippers.

Last edited by Kristine : Mon, May-17-21 at 15:36.
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  #9   ^
Old Mon, May-17-21, 18:45
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Rosebud Rosebud is offline
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I'm another whose stress levels would increase if I were to eat that much fruit'n'veg every day.

My touchy gut would be most upset with me!
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, May-19-21, 15:58
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Bob-a-rama Bob-a-rama is offline
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Cool as a cucumber is perhaps the only valid association between veggies and stress <ha-ha>
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, May-20-21, 07:41
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khrussva khrussva is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdra
They could be feeling 10% less stress because they think they are saving the planet with all their plant eating.

Yes - all of us meat eaters MUST be feeling guilty and ashamed for our cruel and destructive choices. Who needs causation when vegan ideology is so absolute.
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  #12   ^
Old Sat, May-22-21, 15:00
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BawdyWench BawdyWench is offline
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How do you measure 10% less stress?
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, May-23-21, 13:23
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Bob-a-rama Bob-a-rama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BawdyWench
How do you measure 10% less stress?

With your imagination, of course.

I get 10% less stress eating backn-cheeseburgers (with a zero carb bagel for a bun)
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  #14   ^
Old Sun, May-23-21, 13:29
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spiderdust spiderdust is offline
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I do wonder if the study itself had more details about which specific vegetables were eaten that the article didn't go into?
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