Dr. Tamlin Conner and Bonnie White, and Dr. Caroline Horwath from New Zealand's University of Otago published new research in the British Journal of Health Psychology on Jan. 23, 2013, that shows a positive effect on mood produced by consuming fruit and vegetables.
A total of 281 young adults (with a mean age of 20 years) completed an internet based daily food diary for 21 consecutive days. Prior to this, participants completed a questionnaire giving details of their age, gender, ethnicity, weight and height. Those with a history of an eating disorder were excluded.
On each of the 21days participants logged into their diary each evening and rated how they felt using nine positive and nine negative adjectives. They were also asked five questions about what they had eaten that day. Specifically, participants were asked to report the number of servings eaten of fruit (excluding fruit juice and dried fruit), vegetables (excluding juices), and several categories of unhealthy foods like biscuits/cookies, potato crisps, and cakes/muffins.
On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic than they normally did.
The researchers demonstrated that all improvements in mood were felt the day after consuming fruit and vegetables.
The research was reviewed at the Eureka Alert website the date of publication.