Study Reveals Vegetables’ Role In Promoting Happiness

Study Reveals Vegetables’ Role In Promoting Happiness

The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has published a recent study in vegetables suggesting that vegetables can not only support physical health but also mental health to quite an extent. The USDA Dietary Guidelines also recommended adults eat more vegetables and fruits regularly to promote overall well-being. 

Study Reveals Vegetables’ Role In Promoting Happiness

According to a recent study report, adults who consume a minimum of three servings of vegetables a day have greater subjective happiness when compared to others. So, the research recommends that following the USDA Dietary Guidelines on the same can bring happiness and psychological well-being together. 

Study Reveals Vegetables’ Role In Promoting Happiness

Isa Kujawski, MPH, RDN, a dietitian in DC stated that vegetables contain myriad micronutrients which are essential for optimal mental functioning. These nutrients include magnesium, iron, folate, and zinc. In addition to this, vegetables are also packed with antioxidants which are necessary to protect the body and fight against oxidative stress and free radicals. Since oxidative stress gradually leads to depression and anxiety, eating more vegetables can tackle such issues, Dr. Kujawski added. 

By conducting the study, researchers aimed to detect the impact of eating more vegetables on happiness level and mental health. To continue with their research, they selected 75 volunteers aged between 18 to 65 years. These people were habitual vegetable eaters, and they were categorized into test and control groups. 

The research has been carried out for 8 weeks. During the study, volunteers in the test group were provided with more amounts of fresh and frozen vegetables than their usual calorie intake. They also were instructed to follow the amounts which are suggested in the Dietary Guidelines, i.e., about two to four servings every day, as per their usual calorie levels. Whereas, the control group was given nothing more than their regular diet.

After 8 weeks of the study, the researchers have used the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) to determine the happiness levels of both groups. Which, four questions are used among participants so that they can report their happiness levels by themselves. These questions were prepared to measure the volunteers’ happiness levels when compared to the depressive symptoms they feel. 

As per the study results, it is clear that the rise in vegetable consumption with respect to the USDA Dietary Guidelines can help to improve SHS scores. 

One of the research authors Shannon Casperson, who is a research biologist at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-Agricultural Research Services stated that there is a significant rise in SHS scores, as per the increase in consumption of amounts and types of vegetables as per Dietary Guideline. 

Dr. Casperson elaborated that the volunteers were provided with a selection of over 30 vegetables to choose from. Besides, the researchers had no idea whether one of them is better than the other. However, the volunteers were recommended to choose green, red, and orange vegetables every day based on USDA Dietary Guidelines. 

Dr. Casperson further added that every day, each of the volunteers was given two to three servings of vegetables. At the same time, they were free to choose their preferred vegetable from the given subgroups. Besides, each week, they were instructed to eat a variety of vegetables following a rainbow pattern of colors. 

By the end of the study, researchers could confirm that nutritional eating can have a broad impact on people. 

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