Fruits and Veggies Make You Happier

Fruits and Veggies Make You Happier
The rainbow diet just got brighter. People who eat fruits and vegetables reap an important emotional gratification: Happiness. Since many of us are not motivated to eat healthier produce to prevent cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s – too far off in the future- we might actually be persuaded if the reward happens sooner. Who knew that happiness is as easy as eating 8 daily servings of fruits and veggies like broccoli, carrots, an apple or a bowl of cherries?

A fascinating study from the University of Warwick in England, using 12,000 randomly selected people who kept food diaries and were interviewed by psychologists (as published in the American Journal of Public Health), claims that eating more fruits and vegetables can substantially increase people’s happiness levels. For each extra daily portion of fruits and vegetables up to 8 portions per day there were positivity benefits. The researchers likened this increased intake to the emotional equivalent of “an increase in life satisfaction similar to moving from unemployment to employment.” And this well-being boost occurred within two years of the improved diet rather than a faraway future.

The researchers believe that it may be possible eventually to link this study to current research into antioxidants which suggests a connection between optimism and carotenoid in the blood. However this assertion needs more investigative research.

If you consider that currently the healthiest diet is the Mediterranean diet, and we all know that the Mediterranean is known for its sunny disposition and rainbow array of fruits and veggies, then this new food research just became brighter. While becoming a vegan or vegetarian might be daunting to some, eating more fruits and vegetables daily is achievable and practical for overall health, weight management, energy levels and apparently, greater happiness.

Soul Food: The benefits of a rainbow array of fruits and veggies

The premise of a rainbow diet is that you have got to have some rain (adversity) in order to see an amazing rainbow. We have a complex relationship with food. Many of us eat to fill an empty heart, or out of boredom because we feel low and aimless and most of us eat when we feel stressed in order to self-soothe. The pendulum can swing both ways when adhering to a meal plan, so keep it basic and natural. Instead of shopping for unhealthy, sugary, fatty and salty foods, or becoming so clinical to shop for phytonutrients like lycopenes, luteins, anthocyanins, minerals, vitamins etc., simply go to the produce section of your supermarket and select a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Eat eight servings a day for physical and emotional health.

  • Feast your eyes with colorful produce.
  • The water content as found in watermelon, oranges and grapefruits, kiwis, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes and vegetable or fruit soups help in weight loss sending a message to the brain that the stomach is full.
  • Berries are low in calories, high in vitamin C and take a longer time to eat. Their rich colors signal phytochemicals and nutrients. Blueberries are a powerhouse for the brain; cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Apples do keep the doctor away and their crunch is a great stress reliever.

For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.