Children often hear the same recommendation – “Eat your veggies to grow big and strong”. Eating healthy can also make us happier, according to an Australian study cited by BTA.
It covered 76 students between the ages of 17 and 35 who did not eat well and had moderate to severe symptoms of depression. Several weeks later, participants who switched from unhealthy to healthy eating reported that they were less anxious and in a better mood. “There is evidence that eating a large amount of processed foods increases the risk of depression,” said Head of Research Heather Francis, of Macquarie University in Sydney.
At the beginning of the study, all participants stated that they consumed processed foods, products containing sugar and saturated fat. Participants also said that the previous week they were moody, less able to enjoy pleasures and less motivated.
Half of them were encouraged to add fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil to their diets and reduce their consumption of processed foods. The rest received no instructions and continued to adhere to their regular diet. Three weeks later, those who ate healthy, found themselves in a much better mood, were not depressed, and were less anxious than participants who had not changed their diet.