Fruit may seem like a sweet treat but it’s necessary for a well-rounded diet. Fruit and veggies are overlooked far too often in the western diet. Numerous surveys have revealed that the typical American diet doesn’t meet the recommended fruit and veggie intake. Instead, diets contain excess calories, far too large portions, and tons of sugar, and become the perfect recipe for obesity.
So we can look at this in two ways…
- Sedimentary lifestyles and also diets high in sugar and trans fat not only lead to weight gain and health issues but furthermore negatively affect mood.
- Alternatively, you could improve your quality of life by eating more fruits and vegetables, paired with routinely exercising.
Obviously, exercise is important because it gets your heart pumping and keeps muscle mass from slipping off of you as you grow older. However, exercise also helps you stay calm, cool, and collected. It is well known that physical fitness reduces stress, but it also has a domino effect where it teaches more control over pesky mood swings.
Fruit’s Secret to Happiness: Tryptophan
You can naturally release feel-good chemicals when you eat certain fruits that contain the amino acid tryptophan. For people living with conditions like anxiety and depression, not getting enough tryptophan can lead to issues regulating your moods. Try adding some of these tryptophan-rich fruits to your morning smoothie bowl:
- Kiwi Fruit
And then we have the happiness-inducing effect of vegetables…
Magnesium & Folate Lead to Happiness
Another nutrient Americans don't get enough of is magnesium, and guess what’s rich in it? That’s right vegetables. Magnesium deficiency is believed to affect at least half of the population, leaving them feeling depressed, anxious, and fatigued for what seems like no reason. (Turns out there’s a reason…people aren’t eating their greens and exercising.)
For reference, women need roughly 320 mg of magnesium per day and men are recommended up to 420 mg every day.
Eat more of these Greens:
Pumpkin (technically a fruit.)
Black Eyed Peas
Magnesium intercepts the activity of stress-producing neurotransmitters and instead binds to calming receptors, promoting deep relaxation. Essentially, by regulating cortisol release (the stress hormone), magnesium has a calming effect on an overactive nervous system.
Taking Folate to Improve Your Mood
Those who suffer from seasonal depression or feel that their favorite activities are becoming less and less interesting are in need of this B vitamin. Folate plays an important role in the synthesis of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. A sense of happiness, or even the feeling of contentment with one's life, is influenced by the level of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
Foods Rich in Folate
Dark leafy greens
Despite folate's benefits, poor gut health renders it ineffective. In order for you to be successful in incorporating good bacteria in your gut, you need to eat vegetables and fruit on a daily basis.