The furry green fruit that chases away the blues

It’s easy to feel down in the dumps, especially when winter seems to drag on and on.

Luckily, researchers from the University of Otago have found an easy — and tasty — way to chase away those blues…

All you have to do is reach for a furry green fruit packed with a mood-boosting vitamin…

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The depression-vitamin C connection

So what does vitamin C have to do with depression?

Well, while you might already know that certain vitamins like vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, are associated with a better mood, it just so happens that the vitamin C you get from foods like citrus fruit can play a role as well.

In fact, vitamin C intake has been associated with improved mood, vitality, well-being and lower rates of depression. And vitamin C deficiency has been shown to lead to higher levels of depression — and even cognitive impairment.

And that’s where those Otago researchers come in…

Pitting the common kiwi against the blues

While the team knew that vitamin C could have the power to boost mood, very little time had been put into determining just how quickly mood improvements could occur and whether vitamin C supplements or whole food sources were better.

So they set out to close that knowledge gap.

The researchers recruited 155 participants with low levels of vitamin C. Each participant took a vitamin C supplement or placebo or ate two kiwifruit daily for eight weeks. Kiwi are considered one of the premier dietary sources of vitamin C.

Then, using smartphone surveys, they tracked their vitality, mood, flourishing, sleep quality, sleep quantity and physical activity.

And the results were clear…

While supplementing with vitamin C can help, it’s the common kiwi for the win!

The team found that people who ate kiwis experienced an improvement in vitality and mood within just four days. But results really peaked around 14-16 days when participants felt they were especially “flourishing.”

Vitamin C, on the other hand, only marginally improved mood up until day 12.

According to the researchers, the results demonstrate the potential synergistic effects of consuming whole foods like kiwifruit.

So if you want to keep the blues away, eat two kiwi fruit a day.

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More causes and remedies for a blue mood

As much as vitamin deficiencies can contribute to a depressed mood, it’s important to know that some medications and other factors can as well.

In addition to adding kiwis to your daily diet, there are more steps you can take to help keep your mood in the green zone.

These include:

  • Taking magnesium – A study from the University of Vermont found that magnesium supplements could be an effective treatment for depression, with some participants experiencing mood improvements within two weeks.
  • Avoiding sugar – Sugar not only steals the vitamin C you consume, it fuels the inflammation that can worsen depression.
  • Enjoying cultural activities – Research from the University College London shows that you can significantly slash your depression risk as you age by planning cultural outings like going to a museum or a movie.
  • Exercising regularly – Just 10 minutes a day of physical activity can lead to a happier you, so why not get moving?

The above list makes up about half of these 7 things happy people do that reduce depression by 57 percent.

Remember, if a blue mood gives way to depression, it’s important to reach out to a healthcare professional.

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Furry fruit improves mental health – fast – EurekAlert!

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.