Forget apples! This fruit can improve your mental health in just four days

February 13, 2024

How do you like them apples? An apple is no longer the preferred fruit for deterring doctor’s visits: New Zealand scientists have found that eating kiwi fruit can boost a person’s mood in as little as four days, reports the New York Post.

According to findings of a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, these mental health-enhancing effects are can be attributed to the fact that kiwis are loaded with vitamin C, which is known to improve mood and vitality, among other benefits.

“It’s great for people to know that small changes in their diet, like adding kiwi fruit, 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.

To test the fruit’s alleged mood-boosting effects, the team of “Kiwis” conducted a diet experiment with155 adults who had deficient levels of vitamin C. Every day for eight weeks, participants were either given either a placebo—a 250 mg vitamin C supplement—or two kiwis, and then asked to report on their vitality, mood, sleep quality, and physical activity.

The 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 kiwi fruit or vitamin C interventions,” said lead author Dr. Ben Fletcher, who conducted the research as part of his Ph.D. 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 of kiwi—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 added.

Research contact: @nypost