Does this sound familiar? You have a pretty good life, but just can’t seem to stay happy, content, and feeling calm. You may often feel you're in a mildly sad, low energy state. Possibly, you’ve even considered visiting a doctor for a prescription of some of those little pills you’ve been hearing about. Well, hold your horses partner, because a new study suggests that adding fruits & veggies to your diet daily may be the surprise boost you need. No doctor visit required.
The secret, published by the British Journal of Health Psychology in January 2013, was not just about the addition of fruits & vegetables to the diet. We all know that eating more fruits and veggies are good for us. The surprise "mental health boost" came when conforming to a specific number of fruits & veggie servings. Seven, to be precise.
After analyzing the food diaries of 281 adults for 21 days, researchers found a direct link connecting diet with emotional "moods." Those adults that ate higher fruit and vegetable servings, had measurable changes in their emotional state. Research results found that those individuals eating more fruits and veggies had higher overall sense of happiness and energy.
But, say researchers, the magic number relating to these “mood improvement spikes” is seven. Meaning, metal health moods peaked for those who ate seven portions of fruits and vegetables per day. Not only that, but the researchers could predict who was going to feel better, be in a positive frame of mind, and with more feelings of contentment based on what they ate the previous day. Wow.
“On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic than they normally did,” said lead author Dr. Tamlin Conner.
So, if you’d like a boost in your mental health (and, let’s face it, who wouldn’t?) Conner suggests filling up half your plate with vegetables and snacking on whole fruits.
And, as a dessert lover, I suggest skipping the chocolate cake and trying the pie: berry pie, apple pie, cherry pie, pear tart...mmmmm.