Fruits and vegetables can lift mood of young adults?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Eating 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily may promote emotional well-being among healthy young adults.
WHAT WE KNOW
There are many reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables, but did you know improving mental health may be one of those reasons? Consuming a large amount of food or any amount of a less healthy food may leave you feeling physically sluggish. It might also negatively affect your mood, leaving you feeling “down” or depressed. Studies support this hypothesis, but few examine how healthy foods might help to improve mood. In October of 2012, researchers determined that a relationship does exist between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health. Recently, researchers have found that eating fruits and vegetables may promote emotional well-being as well as predict improvements in mood the next day.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
This study included 281 subjects with an average age of 19.9 years. They were asked to keep a daily diary for 21 days. In the diary, subjects reported daily consumption of five (5) specific foods as well as their mood or emotions. Researchers found that those subjects with greater positive moods consumed more fruits and vegetables. Those with the greatest improvement in positive mood consumed 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Overall, the consumption of fruits and vegetables predicted improvements in the subjects’ moods the following day.*
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, paired with physical activity, can boost your overall well-being. An easy way to ensure your family is getting enough fruits and vegetables is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. There are many ways to add fruits and vegetables to your diet. Ideas? Skip the candy machine and enjoy apple slices with natural peanut butter for a mid-afternoon snack (try our fruity peanut butter dip). Top your cereal with banana slices, blueberries, or sliced strawberries … or a combination of all three every morning. Just add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.
Get going! Physical activity can instantly boost your mood. Gather your family for an evening walk after dinner or play a game of tag in the back yard. Call a friend and ask her or him to join you for daily walks or jogs. Having a buddy is not only safer but it will also increase the likelihood you’ll stick to your workout routine. Physical Activity Ideas
*White, Bonnie A., Caroline C. Horwath, and Tamlin S. Conner. “Many Apples a Day Keep the Blues Away – Daily Experiences of Negative and Positive Affect and Food Consumption in Young Adults.” British Journal of Health Psychology
(2013): n. pag. 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2013. View Article