Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Eat Well, Be Happy

Saturday, October 1, 2016 | 12:00 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , No comments

Does the idea of improving your health 5-10 years from now seem too far away to motivate you to eat well? What if eating well could have more immediate results? A recent study suggests that just may be the case.

Eat Well, Be Happy?
Eating more fruits and vegetables is widely seen as a way to improve physical health, but now, there may be another reason hit the salad bar. Eating more fruits and vegetables might make us happier and more satisfied with life. A recent study found that people who increasingly ate more fruits and vegetables were happier and had improved overall well-being. The changes were quick – less than 2 years. The size of the result was pretty impressive too. According to the researchers, the increase in well-being is the equivalent to the decrease someone would see if they lost their job.

How does it work?
Most research on fruits and vegetables has looked at preventing chronic diseases like diabetes or cancer, or improving weight. The idea that fruits and vegetables can make us happier is a new, but exciting idea. It is possible that the vitamins and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables deserve the credit. It could also be the fiber. Whatever the cause, it seems that this could be one more reason to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Next Steps
Aim for a fruit or a vegetable at each meal or snack. It can be as small as a handful of raisins or as big as a salad for lunch. The researchers didn’t find that any particular fruit or vegetable worked better than another, so pick some that you enjoy and challenge yourself to try new ones. It all counts and can help increase your health overall and possibly your happiness now.

1. Redzo Mujcic and Andrew J.Oswald. Evolution of Well-Being and Happiness After Increases in Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables. American Journal of Public Health: August 2016, Vol. 106, No. 8, pp. 1504-1510.
October 2016