Increase Happiness Through a Better Diet

Comfort food may be physically satisfying, but it can leave you feeling emotionally empty.

This video was originally published on and republished with permission.

Happiness is a concept we all strive for. Merely existing is not enough, and few people decide to make a personal journey out of hating life, so what is the secret to mental well-being? Well, there is growing evidence that what we eat is directly tied into our mental state. When examining studies from around the world, it becomes clear that there is a strong link between intake of fruits and vegetables and happiness. One such study was performed in Britain which sampled over 80,000 people. According to the study, people who ate seven to eight servings of vegetables and fruits a day reported the highest levels of satisfaction. But is this enough to increase happiness, or are happy people simply more likely to eat better? The answer, it turns out, is that yes, it is the food.

Firstly, the study that was conducted in Britain controlled for many factors, including employment status, smoking and exercise, among others. So how is it that simply eating fruits and vegetables can have this dramatic impact? Well, vitamin C is a component of many plant-based foods, which is important in the production of dopamine. Furthermore, they also tend to be high in antioxidants, reducing inflammation throughout the body. Yet another study looked at whether people who were happy in the first place ate better than those who did not self identify as “happy.” They found that the more content the person, the more willpower they had resisting junk food. It is possible then to make a connection that eating healthy is self perpetuating. Eat better, feel better and it will encourage you to continue eating better and increase happiness. Fall for junk food and you will inevitably feel like junk yourself.

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