|A recent study using data from the UK shows that a healthy serving of fruits |
and vegetables everyday can have a positive effect on your mental well-being.
by douglas reeser on June 21, 2013
A good friend of mine in Belize recently started working a new job. The job is with a family business, and requires long hours 6 or 7 days per week. I could see the toll the hours were taking, and urged her to be sure to take care of herself, especially by keeping up with a healthy and nutritious diet. I knew that eating well during a time of stress would help her tired body, and I found myself wondering if a healthy diet would also have an effect on her mental health. I know physical health, mental health, and diet are all entangled, but I wondered if diet could directly affect your mental well-being - can your diet make you happy?
After a few days, this question continued to linger in my mind, so I decided to do a little research. My own anthropological research has focused on health and diet, and so I had a few places to look, but I didn't find anything specifically about diet and happiness. I broadened my search and came across an article from 2012 in the journal, Social Indicators Research, a social-science journal that focuses on quality of life measurement. The article I found was titled with the very question I was asking: "Is Psychological Well-Being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?" It turns out that few studies have actually been done on happiness and health, and perhaps none trying to tease out diet as a factor in our happiness.