Eat Your Way to Happiness With Fruit and Veg
By Fiona Keating | January 21, 2013 4:06 AM EST
Eating your way to happiness is one way of avoiding Blue Monday, known as the most depressing day of the year, which this year falls on 21 January.
High blood levels of antioxidants - of which carotenoids are one form - may be a marker of good health.
"Individuals with greater optimism tended to have greater levels of carotenoids such as beta-carotene," said lead investigator Julia Boehm of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Antioxidants help keep other molecules in the body from producing free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to disease.
One theory is that antioxidants might have a de-stressing effect.
"This is the first study of its kind to report a relationship between optimism and healthier levels of carotenoid concentrations," Boehm added.
People who ate two or fewer servings of fruits and vegetables a day were significantly less optimistic than people who ate three or more servings a day
Researchers found that people who were more optimistic had up to 13 percent more carotenoids in their blood than people who were less optimistic.
However, the relationship between optimism and carotenoid levels could be explained by the fact that more optimistic people tend to engage in healthier behaviours such as eating fruit and vegetables and avoiding cigarette smoking.
Last year, scientists at Warwick University found that the happiest people were those who ate seven portions of fruit and veg a day.
At the time, lead researcher Professor Andrew Oswald said he was "stunned" when he looked at the data.
"We think we're on to something really important here," he said. "However, we don't really know why this is - whether there is something in the biochemistry of the fruit and veg which works inside humans.
"We know that fruit and veg carry a lot of antioxidants and those protect us against attacks on the body. But how that works through into our minds and emotions, researchers have no idea."
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Taylor Swift Named People's Best Dressed Stars Of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Peter Quillin Claims That Adriana Lima Will Beat Gisele In The Boxing Ring; Adriana's Weight Loss Through Boxing and A Paleo Diet
- 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' Star Kourtney Kardashian Blamed For Khloe's Weight Gain Through Social Media Messages
- Joan Rivers May Have Died From Propofol Like Michael Jackson
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy: Middleton's Morning Sickness Could Cause Risk Of Miscarriage[Watch Video]
- Caution to Diabetics: Artificial Sweeteners May Increase Blood Sugar Levels Based on Study
- iOS 8 Release Date Of Sept 17 Has Arrived: Update Begins At 10AM Pacific Time, Upgrade Your iDevices With iOS 7.1.2 First To Install iOS 8
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- Why Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Not The Best Smartphone To Purchase Now? If You Still Want To, Wait For A Month To Get It Cheap
- Apple iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 October Release Date Roundup: Freshly Leaked Protective Case Debuts Unique Vent Alongside Camera
- Canadian IS Jihadist Wants to ‘Play Soccer’ with Heads of US Decapitated Soldiers
- Warning to U.S. – ISIS Has Shot Down a Syrian Regime Fighter Jet
- Spice Dream Uno vs Xiaomi Redmi 1S: Android One Smartphone to Challenge The Existing Budget Friendly Smartphone