Can diet affect your mood? You betcha! A recent study published in the Journal of Health Psychology evaluated the link between emotions and foods, and found that people who eat more fruits and veggies are also happier and more energetic than those who eat very little of these foods.
The study involved 281 young adults who recorded their food intake and mood for 21 days. “On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier, and more energetic than they normally did.” Consumption of 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day was found to produce a noticeable positive change.
What’s more, consuming a high amount of fruits and vegetables on one day was linked to improved mood the following day, suggesting a causative link. There are many reasons to increase fruit and vegetable intake. From heart health to digestive health—and now mood health—we all need to up our veggies and fruits. Yet the average American eats far below the recommended five to nine servings daily.
Start your day by incorporating some antioxidant-rich berries. Chew on fresh veggies as a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. Eat a large, nutritious salad (with fruits and veggies) for lunch, and be sure to fill half your plate with veggies at dinner. Replace your bread and crackers with delicious, nutritious fruits and veggies so that you can up your nutrient intake, and improve your mood.