Legumes and Well-Being in the Elderly: A Preliminary Study

  •  Andrew Smith    


There has been considerable recent interest in associations between diet and subjective reports of wellbeing (stress, mental health, cognitive and physical functioning). Such effects have been considered across the lifespan and benefits often observed in all age groups. Effects of diet are often easier to detect in the elderly, either because of the longer period of consumption or the decline in functioning associated with aging. The present paper reports results from surveys examining associations between frequency of consumption of peas and beans and wellbeing. No significant associations were observed in younger samples but in the elderly more frequent consumption of peas and beans was associated with reduced stress, emotional distress, anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms. Further research is now required to examine underlying mechanisms and assess the practical implications of these findings.

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