Two new studies came out recently on foods that make us not only healthier, but happier human beings. And yes, one of those foods is broccoli! We’ll get to the other one in a minute.
Eating broccoli, along with other fruits and vegetables, has been linked to “eudaemonic well-being” – also known as feeling a sense of purpose and engagement with life, as well as curiosity and creativity. Researchers in New Zealand found that study participants who ate a lot of fruits and vegetables reported higher levels of creativity, curiosity and what they called “psychological flourishing.” Participants scored higher in these areas when they ate more vegetables, and lower on days that included more fried foods and desserts.
The real question is: Do healthier diets create a sense of engagement and positivity? Or, does being engaged and positive lead to eating better?
Try it yourself and see what you think!
The other dietary staple making the recent news is yogurt.
Recent scientific evidence indicates that the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tracts influence our emotions and even behavior. Depending on what types of bacteria are growing in your gut, you may crave more sweets or more fat, or even feel depressed.
In 2011, a study on depression was conducted to see if taking probiotic supplements reduced depression – it did. And, in 2013, UCLA produced a study reporting that women who ate yogurt every day experienced changes in the parts of their brains that process emotion.
It’s a little too early to say with certainty that you can toss your anti-depressants in favor of lactobacillus, but if you need a good-mood pick-me-up this week, try yogurt! And eat your vegetables.
Interested in other Good Mood Foods? Here are our previous posts on the topic.