If you are not a fan of vegetables it is the time to become one. Recent findings have shown they can lower stress levels. 

Stress has become part of our daily lives, mostly in this part of the world.

In Lagos State, southwest Nigeria for instance, you will have to wake up very early for work to avoid spending long hours in the never ending traffic.

This means you get less amount of sleep, but the annoying thing is that you will still face the traffic after work and the deafening noise made by power generators when you get home.

The situation has been made worse by the fact that our hard-earned money is losing value by the day, giving everyone a cause to worry and exposing more people to emotional stress.

Dark leafy greens like Ugwu, spinach and others in that contain vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, Copper and Manganese, can calm your nerves.

Zobo or Roselle drink on the other hand contains calcium, niacin, riboflavin, iron and vitamin C, all of which are also soothing.

Folate helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. A study conducted in 2012 found people who consumed the most folate do not get depressed.

Research from the University of Otago found eating fruits and vegetables of any sort helped young adults calm their nerves.

Dr. Tamlin Conner of the Department of Psychology said: "On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier, and more energetic than they normally did".

zobo

A new research by the University of Sydney has also provided a few things that anyone stressed could adopt to be free from the monster that could lead to series of illnesses.

The research study shows that eating vegetables can lower psychological stress.

The study surveyed 60,000 Australians aged 45 or older and examined the subjects intake of fruit and vegetables, along with their lifestyle factors and levels of psychological stress at two separate time points between 2006-2008 and 2010.

Using the Kessler psychological distress scale, a 10 point scale measuring general anxiety and depression, researchers compared the results against the amount of vegetables and fruits they were consuming.

"Around 50 per cent of adults meet the guidelines for fruit intake and only seven per cent for vegetables!” Researcher Dr Melody Ding told Xinhua News Agency.

"An alarming statistic considering women who ate five to seven daily serves of fruit and vegetables daily had a 23 per cent lower risk of stress than women who ate zero to one serves daily.

"Even moderate daily vegetable intake alone is linked to a lower incidence of psychological stress," with people who ate three to four daily serves of vegetables per day experiencing 12 per cent lower stress levels than those who ate zero to one serves daily.

Contrary to popular thought, fruit alone was reported to have no significant effect on lowering psychological stress.

The exact reason as to why the consumption of vegetables appears to decrease stress is still not entirely clear, however. “Unfortunately, we don’t know. Our findings are based on big data at the population level  We need to work with other disciplines to get to understand the mechanisms,” Ding said.

Interestingly, the consumption of vegetables and the effects on mood, although highly beneficial for both sexes, was less pronounced in men.

“The association is much stronger with women. Why? we can’t say.

“There could be a true biological difference between men and women or perhaps women are better at reporting their diets and their stress levels?” she added.