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Latest Research Shows a Healthy Diet has Mental Health and Memory Function Benefits

Press release October 8, 2018 Australia Nutrition Mental health

Current research reveals that diet and mental health are related. Poor diet is now believed to be linked to negative mental health and a greater risk of depression and anxiety, and also impacts memory and learning[1].

"The benefits of fruit and vegetables for physical health are already well known” explains Dr Catherine Milte; Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University. “But recent findings from surveys and intervention trials suggest that consuming a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables also has benefits for mental health such as better mood and reducing the risk of depression across the lifespan. It may also have long-term benefits by playing a role in protecting our brains and keeping our memory sharp as we age."

Nutrition Australia Vic CEO Lucinda Hancock says “despite the latest studies and recurring healthy eating messages only 4% of Australian’s are eating enough vegetables, with a whopping 99% of children missing out on the essential nutrients they provide”.[2]

Research confirms fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are frequently replaced with processed foods laden with loads of unhealthy fats, salt and sugars. Nutritious food fuels our brains and bodies; however, our tendency to reach for convenience foods, as opposed to the balanced diet, is resulting in many of us not meeting basic dietary requirements and a nation soaring in diet related health issues ranging from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and stroke and mental health a recent addition.[3]  

These sobering statistics are a wake-up call for all Australian’s to rethink our eating habits, so it’s more important than ever for family meals to incorporate more vegetables.

Tryfor5 re-enforces the healthy eating message with our ‘Small Change, Big Gains’ campaign transforming some of Australia’s favourite recipes by adding more veg to make them even more healthy and delicious! Studies show Australian’s want a simple approach to cooking, with familiar, family-favourite meals high on the list, as well as practical tips and advice on improving healthiness of meals. Building on this insight; simple and small changes in diets can help increase vegetable intake, resulting in big health gains for generations.[4]

We’re delighted to collaborate with our principle partner Bayer, major partners Scanpan and Victorinox plus introduce our very first brand ambassador; Olivia Andrews for this year’s Try for 5 campaign. These partnerships will help raise awareness of the connection between food and our health, while supporting the community to enjoy healthy eating.

Bayer wants to inspire all Australians to take more interest in their health and wellbeing by increasing their knowledge about the importance of self-care.  “Through our partnership with Nutrition Australia, we are supporting education about nutrition to help individuals take positive actions in managing their health“ said Mark Sargent, Head of Consumer Health at Bayer.

Olivia Andrews; cookbook author, food writer and co-founder of Marley Spoon wholeheartedly supports the health message Tryfor5 conveys. “Our philosophy on healthy eating strongly aligns” Olivia notes. “I’m excited to be involved with this amazing campaign as we share mutual goals of increasing vegetable intake by encouraging lots of variety, options and positive eating habits for families. We need to realign what Australian’s eat proportionally by encouraging good eating habits for life and eating from all food groups. It’s time to celebrate vegetables”!

Refer to our media kit, which contains social media post suggestions for you to use to help spread the Tryfor5 message during National Nutrition Week and visit for more information.


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For more information, images or to arrange an interview please contact:

Tryfor5 Coordinator

Allison Cherry

P: 03 8341 5800  M: 0438 517 354 

E: [email protected]


Tryfor5 Media Spokespeople 

Lucinda Hancock

Chief Executive Officer - Nutrition Australia Vic Division

[email protected]

P: 03 8341 5810  M: 0403 042 094

Olivia Andrews

M: 0414 659 155

E: [email protected]

Aloysa Hourigan

Accredited Practising Dietitian

[email protected]

M: 0417 078 956


[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Vegetables and legumes/beans, 364.0.55.012 - Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12, V[email protected]/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.012~2011-12~Main%20Features~Vegetables,%20legumes%20and%20beans~10  

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Discretionary foods, 364.0.55.007 - Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12,[email protected]/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.007~2011-12~Main%20Features~Discretionary%20foods~700  




Australia Nutrition Mental health