Do you want to be happy? Of course, everyone does, which is why all people need to make sure to get enough healthy fruits and vegetables each day. While you probably know by now that these foods are packed with vitamins and fiber that are good for the health of your body, did you know that they may be able to improve your mood as well?
According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College, happiness and mental health are the highest among people who consume seven portions of fruits and vegetables a day. This suggests that there are even more benefits to eating fruits and veggies than previously thought.
Eat healthy, be happyThe scientists examined the eating habits of over 80,000 people to come to their conclusions. They discovered that mental well-being rose along with the amount of fruits and veggies people ate. Furthermore, people seemed to be at their peak happiness levels when they consumed seven portions of fruits and vegetables a day.
Researchers were surprised by the findings, considering that fruits and veggies are usually only discussed when people bring up physical health.
"The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers," said study co-author professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health at Warwick Medical School.
The scientists added that this goes against the fact that most western governments currently recommend five servings of these foods a day for cardiovascular health. However, the United States Department of Agriculture states that the amount of fruits and vegetables a person needs depends on their age, gender and level of physical activity.
How to get moreThe Harvard Family Health Guide offers tips for how people can get more fruits and vegetables into their diet. First, you should set a reasonable goal for yourself. For example, try adding one extra fruit or veggie to each meal. Next, there are many sneaky ways to eat more of these foods without even noticing. For example, you can add some finely grated carrots or zucchini to pasta sauce or chili.
Also, try different blends of fruits to make a tasty smoothie.
Finally, remember that there are many delicious and healthy spreads and dips that can spice up any vegetables. Hummus, spiced yogurt and low-fat dressings are all great examples of ways to make your veggies tastier.