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Happiness is…a well-stocked vegetable and fruit drawer

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Happiness is…a well-stocked vegetable and fruit drawer! (Cleveland Clinic Wellness)

When you think about what makes you feel good, what comes to mind? Close friends and family members? A beloved pet? Walking on the beach on a beautiful day? How about… broccoli, apples, tomatoes, and raspberries? Colorful fruits and vegetables may put a smile on your face—they’re gorgeous and delicious, after all! But they also may benefit your mental health, according to research. In a new study, people who ate more fruits and vegetables reported better mental well-being and “life satisfaction” than those who ate little produce, even after accounting for lifestyle, health, and socioeconomic factors. Like all population studies, this one shows a link but doesn’t prove cause and effect. (It could be, for instance, that people who are more balanced emotionally are more likely to choose fruits and vegetables.) But we already know how good colorful vegetables and fruit are for your overall health, so consider the mood affects a potential bonus! Or do an experiment: start eating more produce, and see for yourself whether you feel better emotionally. Upping your intake is easy: simply buy a variety of veggies and fruit at the grocery store or farmers market, and include them at every meal and snack. Sautéed veggies, a snack of carrots and celery, more colorful salads, berries in a smoothie, veggie-filled soups. The possibilities, and the benefits, are endless—and delicious!