The health benefits of fruits and vegetables have long been known - their consumption can lead to reduced risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and more. Now, a new study led by researchers in New Zealand has just proven eating your fruits and veggies can lead to a happier mood, too.
The study, published in the British Journal of Healthy Psychology, tracked over 400 young adults for two weeks and found higher reported levels of happiness, curiosity and creativity in those who ate more fruits and vegetables.
But what is it about fruits and vegetables that could change something as subjective as emotions? The research team noted the micronutrient content of fresh fruits and vegetables affects the production of dopamine levels in the body, the neurotransmitter largely responsible for mood and the brain's pleasure and reward centers.
They add a note, however: participants who were in a better mood could have opted for healthier food options, instead of the other way around. Sometimes when we're down, we reach for unhealthier options and when we're feeling good, we make better decisions, so correlation is not necessarily causation.
Still, they note, next time you're feeling down, try grabbing a healthier snack instead of prepackaged junk - you'll be happier in the end!