How's your meditation? Feeling little stressed? Try having some veggies.
A recent study released by the University of Sydney in Australia reveals that adding just three to four servings of vegetables per day can reduce stress levels and therefore improve your meditation.
In this research experts conducted the study with more than 60,000 Australians between the ages of 45 and 70 from 2006 to 2008 and again in 2010. In the study they measured participant fruit and vegetable intake habits. During the observation period participants went through rigorous 10-item questionnaire process which evaluated individual stress levels associated to anxiety and depression per the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. (University of Sydney in the British Medical Journal Open)
Results show that people who eat two or three servings of vegetables per day were 12 percent less likely of feeling stressed than the controlled baseline subjects. People who ate three to four servings of vegetables had a 14 percent lower risk.
Women, especially, were observed to benefit from the vegetable intensive diet. According to scientists, women who consumed three to four servings of veggies lowered their risk of stress by nearly 18 percent. Eating less veggies showed less protective effects, two servings of fruits and veggies decreased risk by 16 percent. While eating five to seven servings of vegetables and fruits per day spiked beneficial stress reducing results to 23 percent.
Dr. Binh Nguyen, PhD staff at the University of Sydney and the study’s lead researcher said, “We found that fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables,”
Researchers also emphasize that eating more fruit and veggies is not enough to significantly reduce stress on its own. Melody Ding, epidemiologist and behavioral scientist at the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health stated that, "[the study] reveals that moderate daily vegetable intake alone is linked to a lower incidence of psychological stress,”
This study is very promising for anyone looking to augment their stress relief management techniques. So if you're a little stress and are having a hard time with your meditation practice try eating more fruits and veggies.
Here's a list of healthy vegetables mentioned in the Bible to get you started.
Beans, Peas, Legumes
2 Samuel 17:28 "Brought beds, basins, earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched"
Genesis 27:37 "And Isaac answered Esau, Behold, I have made [Jacob] your lord and master; I have given all his brethren to him for servants, and with corn..."
Cucumbers, Leeks, Onions, Garlic
Numbers 11:5 "We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic..."
Cumin, Dill, Mint
Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others."
Olives and Olive Oil
Nehemiah 5:11 "Return this very day to them their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and houses, and also a hundredth of all the money, grain, new wine, and oil that you have exacted from them."
Squash, Pumpkin (Gourds)
2 Kings 4:39 "Then one went into the field to gather herbs and gathered from a wild vine his lap full of wild gourds, and returned and cut them up into the pot of pottage, for they were unknown to them."
A Final Word
The Australian research team provided yet another study that proves God's wisdom.
"And God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food." Genesis 1:29
Eat more fruit and veggies and you will honor God by receiving His gift to you. Who knows maybe it'll help you decrease stress and improve your Christian meditation.
The study was published in the journal BMJ Open and can be reviewed here (Nguyen et al., 2017).
God bless you. We're praying for you.