Foods that Boost Mental Health
Various studies suggest that happiness and mental well-being may be affected by what people eat. In particular, research has shown that eating fruits and vegetables, which are known for their antioxidant properties, benefits mental health and boosts one’s sense of well being.
Researchers at Dartmouth and the University of Warwick found that people who eat the most fruit and vegetables daily considered themselves as significantly happier and more satisfied with their lives than people who eat lesser amounts. Their analysis on the eating habits and moods of 80,000 British adults, the well-being score for participants who ate 7-8 servings of vegetables and fruits daily was consistently three points higher than for those who reported eating little or none. The gap of happiness between the two groups of people was significant and outweighed even the impact of other problems such as unemployment.
Another study involving 281 college students conducted at the University of Otago, New Zealand, showed that participants who reported the highest daily consumption of fruits and vegetables were calmer, happier, and more energetic than students who ate less.
Harvard School of Public Health researchers also concluded from a study involving around 1,000 Americans that optimistic outlook on life was associated with high blood levels of carotene, an antioxidant derived from spinach, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, and cantaloupe.
Other recent studies suggest that these superfoods can actually prevent depression while a diet deficient in these can lead to depression. Investigators at Duke University found that in older adults, people with the lowest intake of fruits and vegetables were most likely to suffer depressive symptoms. Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition involving 1,800 U.S. adults showed that high blood levels of carotenoids reduced the risk of developing depressive symptoms by 59 percent.
Cool, L. The Surprising Foods That Make You Happier. Yahoo.