Produce Banishes the Blues

Eating Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Increases Positivity




New research from New Zealand’s University of Otago shows that consuming more whole fruits and vegetables increases peacefulness, happiness and energy in one’s daily life. Scientists discovered the strong relationship to be particularly apparent in countering winter blues.

A total of 281 college-age students filled out an online food diary and mood survey for 21 consecutive days. Results showed that eating fruits and vegetables one day led to improvements in positive mood the next day, regardless of other key factors, such as body mass index. Other types of food did not produce the same uplifting effect.

“After further analysis, we demonstrated that young people would need to consume approximately seven to eight total servings of fruits and vegetables per day to notice a meaningful positive change,” says Tamlin Conner, Ph.D., with the university’s department of psychology. “One serving of fruit or vegetables is approximately the size that could fit in our palm, or half a cup.” Study co-author Bonnie White suggests that this can be accomplished by having vegetables comprise half of the plate at each meal and snacking on whole fruit like apples.

The American Psychiatric Association acknowledges that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects, at least mildly, as many as 20 percent of Americans.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Eat Mostly Plants to Ease Gum Inflammation

Germans that ate a diet low in meat and carbs and high in plants and vitamins for four weeks had significantly less gum inflammation and bleeding that subjects that did not change their eating habits.

Snack on Walnuts to Slow Growth of Breast Tumors

Women with breast cancer that ate a handful of walnuts daily for two weeks experienced a change in gene expression that suppressed the tumor growth.

Fruits and Veggies Boost Moods

Based on health data of 40,000 people, British researchers found that simply eating more produce measurably heightens mental well-being.

Vegetables and Orange Juice Protect Memory

A Harvard study of 27,842 older male health professionals found those that ate the most vegetables and drank the most orange juice suffered less memory loss over a span of two decades.

Beet Juice Boosts Stamina

Heart failure patients that took beetroot juice supplements exercised longer and harder.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags