Vegan Happier New ZealandAre we happy because we eat healthy or are we eating healthy because we are happy?

Researchers from New Zealand have made a test to see if they can prove if what we eat have an impact on how we feel.

(It may be obvious to some people that there is a connection, but can we prove it?)

Their findings were that people who ate more fruits and vegetables over the 13-day period of the trial was reported higher average levels of curiosity, creativity, and positive emotions, as well as engagement, meaning and purpose.

The study featured 405 participants, all university students, who kept a daily diary for 13 consecutive days. Each day, they recorded the number of servings they had of fruits, vegetable, desserts and various fried-potato dishes.

Many fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of Vitamin C, an important co-factor in the production of dopamine,” they note. “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that underlies motivation and promotes engagement.”

In addition, they point out, antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have been shown to reduce bodily inflammation, which “is thought to protect against depression.”

So while it’s too early to claim kale will cause contentment, the results do suggest that healthy eating and psychological flourishing go hand in hand. Which is certainly food for thought.

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