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How healthy food leads to happiness

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

More research has been done on the relation between healthy nutrition and greater physical health than there are calories in a can of cola. However, a large body of evidence links a better diet to a lower risk of depression... and even happiness. It's worth noting that the study isn't about fad diets. It simply demonstrates how excellent nourishment can improve one's mood. Increased intake of vitamin B12, which is also found in fruits and vegetables, has also been linked to an increase in serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates mood.

According to research, eating “healthy” foods like fruits and vegetables has both physical and mental health advantages, and may be a long-term investment in future well-beingThis viewpoint contradicts the popular idea that high-calorie foods taste better, make us joyful, and help us feel better. We explored in-the-moment eating happiness by analysing entire, real-life dietary behavior throughout eight days using smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment to provide a more comprehensive assessment of food choice and well-being.

There were three major findings: First, out of 14 different main food groups, veggies contributed the most to eating happiness throughout an eight-day period. Second, sweets offered similar levels of induced eating happiness as “healthy” foods like fruits and vegetables. Third, supper produced similar levels of eating pleasure as snacking. These findings are described under the “food as health” section of the website. We can have a good impact on our long-term happiness by choosing to consume some of these foods every day and making a conscious, mindful decision to incorporate them in our meals.

1)Everyday Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables:

After tracking the eating habits of 12,000 adults over several years, scientists at the University of Warwick (England) and the University of Queensland (Australia) discovered that by adding one serving of fruit or vegetable to their diets, they were able to noticeably increase their levels of happiness. Each portion of fruit or vegetable (up to eight) added to their daily meals was associated with increased happiness. How content did these people become? According to studies, getting those who ate almost no fruits or vegetables to eat eight servings per day enhanced their happiness in the same way that getting someone who is unemployed to work enhanced their happiness. While the gains did not happen quickly (it took about 24 months to achieve the full gains in happiness), they were a wonderful outcome of all the other health benefits that these people were experiencing as a result of their diet changes.

2) Reducing Our Consumption of Processed Food:

Foods that have been highly processed are heavy in fats and carbohydrates, but low in nutrients. Many of the nutrients taken from processed foods are the very elements that our brains require for appropriate development, growth, and function. Our minds and moods suffer without them. Following the elimination of all other relevant confounders, a recent study of over 7,000 Australian adolescents found that teenagers with the unhealthiest diets comprising the highest amounts of processed foods were 79 percent more likely to suffer from depression. That's a significant difference that could be attributable to a single food decision made by these teens on a daily basis.

3) Substituting Healthy Fats for Trans-Fats:

Fats aren't all made equal. The physiological harm that trans-fats can do to our bodies has already been established. However, evidence suggests that trans-fats can be just as harmful to our mental health and happiness. One study in Spain looked at 12,000 persons' dietary fatty acid consumption and connected it with their levels of depression. Trans-fat consumption was found to have a substantial association with a rise in depression levels, up to a 42 percent increase over the course of six years, according to researchers. Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and (particularly) olive oil, on the other hand, were found to have inverse relationships. This simple dietary modification demands us to be more knowledgeable and make better decisions about the sorts of fats we put into our systems, rather than consuming less fat.

4) Increased Omega-3 Consumption:

Not only are not all fats created equal, but there are particular fats that we should actively seek out and consume in our diets. These are primarily omega3 fatty acids DHA and EPA-rich lipids. Whole foods including seafood, fish, pasture

raised meats, dairy, and eggs contain these incredibly healthy fats. Hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and seaweed are examples of vegetarian meals that include them. Including several servings of any of these foods in our weekly diet will benefit our heart health as well as our mood and happiness. Increased omega-3 levels have been demonstrated in studies to lessen the risk of brain diseases. The Harvard School of Public Health performed a 10year study of 54,000 American women and found that those with the greatest amounts of good omega3 (and the lowest amounts of toxic omega-6) in their diets were considerably less likely to suffer from depression.

5) Including the Nutrients Below in Our Daily Diets:

Several nutrients have been shown to increase our brain health, as well as our mood and happiness, among other things. To increase our happiness levels in the simplest way possible, we should make sure we consume enough of these nutrients on a daily basis.

  • Calcium, which may be found in dark leafy greens and dairy foods, when combined with vitamin D, can benefit women with mood swings.

  • Chromium, which can be found in broccoli, grapes, and whole grains, boosts serotonin, melatonin, and norepinephrine levels in the brain. All of these substances play a role in regulating mood.

  • Folate, which can be found in dark leafy greens and legumes, helps regulate serotonin levels.

  • Folate is used to alleviate depression when combined with vitamin B12.

  • Iron, which can be found in legumes and meat, is necessary for the movement of oxygen in our blood and, as a result, for avoiding exhaustion.

  • Low iron levels, if left untreated, can lead to a lack of stamina, as well as mood changes and despair.

  • Another vitamin involved in the creation of serotonin is magnesium, which can be found in nuts and soybeans.

  • Magnesium levels in the right range can help prevent mood swings and sadness.

  • Vitamin B6 is crucial in the formation of neurotransmitters in our brains and can be found in wild-caught fish and chickpeas.

  • Vitamin B6 helps to regulate brain function, including moods and emotions, at healthy levels.

  • Vitamin B12 is required for the synthesis of red blood cells and can be found in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

  • As a result, it, like folate, aids in the delivery of oxygen throughout our bodies, preventing weariness and sadness.

  • When we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies create vitamin D, which is contained in fortified dairy products.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is particularly common during the winter months, when there is less sunlight, and in people who avoid the sun for health reasons.

  • Making sure we have adequate vitamin D in our diets can help us stay in control of our emotions, especially when sunlight is scarce.

  • Zinc, which may be found in meat, fish, nuts, and seeds, serves a variety of roles in the body and has also been linked to the prevention of depression.


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