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How Fruits and Veggies Can Make You Happier

How Fruits and Veggies Can Make You Happier

We know you’ve already heard about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, but did you know that they can do wonders for your mood too?

A study of 13,000 people out of the UK’s University of Warwick found that mental health and well-being, characterized by optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships, goes way up as you increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume.

The theory is that vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and other nutrients in produce -- or the way that your gut bacteria metabolizes those nutrients -- help your cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems function optimally. That makes your brain and body strong. And folks who eat healthy foods do other things that are good for them too, such as regular physical activity, de-stress routines and loving interactions with others.

We say if you’re feeling down in the dumps, start thinking differenly about your options for go-to comfort food. Feeling blue? Eat blueberries. Irascible? Try a radish. Sort of sad? Snack on sweet peas. All are effective and really good for you. So aim for nine servings every day. It’s easier than you might imagine. For example: Half a cup of blueberries; 1 cup broccoli; 1 medium baked potato; 1 medium apple; 1 cup quinoa; and ½ cup arugula. There’s your nine servings -- easy as pie and a whole lot better for you.

Medically reviewed in May 2019.

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