Get Creative: Eat More Produce

Can produce help people find meaning in their life? A New Zealand study thinks so. Find out the specifics here...

August 20, 2014

Can fresh produce help us feel more curious and creative, as well as more engaged, so we can live meaningful and purposeful lives?  Research published in the British Journal of Health and Psychology found a correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption and well being; specifically the characteristics mentioned above. The concept is eudemonic well being and encompasses more than just leading a happy life. Psychologists believe it includes more specifics, like purpose, meaning, and engagement that lead to a more fulfilling and happier life.

The study conducted in New Zealand featured 405 university students, who kept a daily food and mood diary for 13 consecutive days. Each day, they recorded the number of servings they had of various foods and also also filled out a daily questionnaire intended to measure creativity, curiosity, and psychological flourishing.

Researchers found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables reported higher average levels of curiosity, creativity, and positive emotions, as well as engagement, meaning and purpose.

This is not news to SupermarketGuru as we’ve seen studies that looked at diets rich in whole foods and a lower risk and occurrence of depression. A previous study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found that those consuming a healthier diet were less likely to report symptoms of depression. Those who reported a higher intake of processed foods were more likely to experience depression.

While many studies have looked at the connection between isolated nutrients and foods on depression, few have looked at the relationship between overall diet and mood. Here we have two studies that point to the mood related benefits of a diet rich in whole, fresh foods. Take advantage of late summer and early fall produce like arugula, basil, blueberries, broccoli, cantaloupe, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, leeks, figs, nectarines, raspberries, zucchini and much more depending on your location.

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