How do you like them apples?
An apple is no longer the preferred fruit for deterring doctor’s visits: New Zealand scientists found that eating kiwi can boost one’s mood in as little as four days, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
“It’s great for people to know that small changes in their diet, like adding kiwifruit, could make a difference in how they feel every day,” study co-author Tamlin Conner, who teaches psychology at the University of Otago, said in a statement.
These mental health-enhancing effects are reportedly due to the fact that these fuzzy fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which is known to boost mood and vitality, among other benefits.
To test the fruit’s alleged mood-boosting effects, the team of “Kiwis” conducted a diet experiment on 155 adults with deficient levels of vitamin C.
Every day for eight weeks, participants were either given a placebo, a 250mg vitamin C supplement or two kiwis, and then asked to report on their vitality, mood, sleep quality and physical activity.
Researchers found that both the vitamin C group and the kiwi eaters reported improved moods, but only the latter group said they felt an increase in self-perceived success.
Best of all, kiwi group reportedly experienced vitality and mood enhancements in just four days with effects, peaking at around 14-16 days.
“Our participants had relatively good mental health to begin with so had little room for improvement, but still reported the benefits of kiwifruit or vitamin C interventions,” said lead author Dr Ben Fletcher, who conducted the research as part of his PhD at Otago.
Scientists chalked up these mental health benefits to the kiwi’s aforementioned high vitamin C content.
Interestingly, participants were administered the SunGold variety — which is yellow rather than green inside — and reportedly boasts three times as much vitamin C as oranges and strawberries as judged on an edible flesh-weight basis.
Fletcher said that ultimately the results demonstrate how “what we eat can have a relatively fast impact on how we feel.”
“We encourage a holistic approach to nutrition and well-being, incorporating various nutrient-rich foods into your diet,” the scientist said.