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Can Eating Fruits and Veggies Make You Happier?

Load up on produce: A new study finds a surprising connection between how much you eat—and your happiness.

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Feeling down that your favorite NFL football team lost this week? Try drowning your sorrows in a large salad or a bowl of cherry tomatoes. Over time, this could affect your mood, according to some new science.

The study, published in Social Indicators Research, found that people who eat seven or more servings of produce a day are happier and have better mental health.

Now, the reason for the whole connection is unclear (it could be that happier people just eat better), but you really can't lose by working more fruits and veggies into your diet, right? So here's how to up your game:

  • Put fruits and veggies in the spotlight by filling half your plate with them at every meal, as suggested by the USDA’s MyPlate icon.
  • Snack on fruits and veggies often. Keep them convenient, nearby, and visible—things like a handful of cherry tomatoes on your desk, or a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter.
  • Squeeze in the goodness. Try putting frozen or fresh berries in smoothies, dried fruit in cereal, or adding veggies to soup and sandwiches.
  • Buy local and in season to get fruits and veggies that taste good enough to stand on their own.

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