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The study included 281 healthy college students who agreed to fill out daily online questionnaires about their food choices and their moods for 21 days. Using the questionnaires, they recorded their consumption of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, pastries, and chips or crisps each day. They also recorded their experience of negative moods such as sadness, depression, anxiousness, tension, and anger, and positive moods such as happiness, cheerfulness, calmness, contentedness, and excitement.
The study showed some interesting relationships between foods and moods:
The researchers calculated that, in order for fruits and vegetables to contribute to a good mood, the students needed to eat about 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. “We found strong relationships between daily positive affect [mood] and fruit and vegetable consumption,” they said. “The current findings suggest that many apples a day is part of a balanced approach to keep the blues away.”
Making sure you get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables every day can stave off a number of chronic health problems, and now it seems it might even make you happier. Here are some other food tips to brighten your mood:
(Br J Health Psychol 2013;doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12021)