Been feeling down and sluggish lately? The reason might be in your diet. Are you eating enough fruit?
According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the more likely you are to feel happier. The study, which tracked more than 12,000 people over several years, found that people tended to get happier with each serving of fruit they ate, with a maximum of eight servings each day.
One study found that there’s a direct correlation between higher blood levels of carotenoids, which is an antioxidant found in fruit and vegetables, and a spike in feelings of positivity. The key to our happiness may have been living in our guts this entire time.
According to VICE, “recent research has established some interesting links between mental health and the bacteria residing in our guts, which secrete chemicals like serotonin and dopamine—the very same neurotransmitters that regulate mood in our brains.”
There’s also a correlation between good gut flora and depression. A study carried out at the University of Toronto found that when patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) were given a two-month supply of probiotics, it led to a noticeable decrease in their depression and anxiety.
The good news is that this might signal a new direction away from the use of antidepressants and other medication for mental health issues. If we know that probiotics play such a crucial role in the way we feel emotionally, there are more possibilities for healthier, more holistic options of treatment.
So if you’ve been feeling down lately, try swapping out the beer and junk food for a couple of bowls of fruit, or at least adding more fruit into your diet. Your tummy, and heart, will thank you later.