Food = Mood, Fruit Rules
Chillax with an apple. Or two or three. Seriously, eating more fruit and vegetables appears to make people happier and calmer, according to researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand. How do they know? The scientists had 281 young adults fill out an internet-based daily food diary for 21 consecutive days, rating how they felt using nine positive and nine negative adjectives, and answering five questions about what they had eaten that day (They 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.) A University of Otago news release reports that the researchers found a strong day-to-day relationship between more positive mood and higher fruit and vegetable consumption, but not other foods. (Hold the biscuits.) Wait, there’s more: To understand which comes first – feeling positive or eating healthier foods – the researchers ran additional analyses and found that eating fruits and vegetables predicted improvements in positive mood the next day, suggesting that healthy foods may improve mood. Read more from the University of Otago.