Feeling blue or just down on yourself? Downing more produce could help. A new study in BMJ Open finds that adequate fruit and veggie intake was associated with big mental perks, helping to lift levels of optimism, happiness, self-esteem, and resilience. Great news, considering about a half million Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and up to 20 percent are dealing with a milder form of the fall and winter blues.
Researchers analyzed survey data from more than 14,000 adults and found that consuming 5 or more servings of produce daily was consistently associated with higher mental well-being.
“One likely reason is antioxidants,” said Dr. Saverio Stranges, lead study author and associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Warwick Medical School. “This study backs up previous findings that 9 different antioxidants are associated with optimism.”