Close this search box.
True Self Care Logo

How Eating Fruits and Veggies Can Boost Your Happiness

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for our physical health. They provide us with essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants that can lower our risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. But did you know that eating fruits and veggies can also make you happier?

That’s right, according to several studies, there is a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and psychological well-being. In this blog post, we will explore how eating more fruits and veggies can improve your mood, happiness, and life satisfaction. We will also answer some frequently asked questions and give you some tips on how to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your daily diet.

The Science Behind Fruits and Veggies and Happiness

How exactly can fruits and veggies make you happier? Well, there are a few possible explanations. One is that fruits and veggies contain phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, that can modulate the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating our emotions, motivation, and reward. By increasing their levels, fruits and veggies can enhance our positive feelings and reduce our negative ones.

Another explanation is that fruits and veggies can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which are associated with depression and anxiety. By lowering these markers of chronic stress, fruits and veggies can protect our mental health and prevent mood disorders.

A third explanation is that fruits and veggies can improve our gut health, which is closely linked to our brain health. The gut microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in our digestive system, can influence our mood, cognition, and behavior. By eating more fruits and veggies, we can increase the diversity and abundance of beneficial bacteria in our gut, which can produce neurotransmitters, modulate inflammation, and communicate with the brain via the vagus nerve.

The Evidence for Fruits and Veggies and Happiness

Several studies have supported the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and psychological well-being. For example, a study by researchers at the University of Warwick and the University of Queensland analyzed the food diaries and well-being of more than 12,000 Australian adults over three years. They found that happiness benefits were detected for each extra daily portion of fruit and vegetables up to eight portions per day. The researchers concluded that people who changed from almost no fruit and veg to eight portions of fruit and veg a day would experience an increase in life satisfaction equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment.

Another study by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and mood in 281 young adults for 21 days. They found that on days when participants ate more fruits and veggies, they reported higher positive mood than on days when they ate less. They also found that eating fruits and veggies in the morning was associated with greater positive mood throughout the day.

A third study by researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK followed the dietary habits and mental health of more than 40,000 British adults for eight years. They found that people who ate more fruits and veggies had lower levels of depression and anxiety than those who ate less. They also found that eating just one extra portion of fruit or veg a day could have a significant impact on mental health, equivalent to around 10% of the average improvement seen by participants in psychological therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much fruit and veg should I eat to be happier?

A: According to the World Health Organization, the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables for adults is at least 400 grams or five portions per day. However, as mentioned above, some studies have suggested that eating up to eight portions or 600 grams per day can maximize the happiness benefits. Of course, this may vary depending on your individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle. The important thing is to eat more fruits and veggies than you currently do, and to choose a variety of colors, types, and forms (fresh, frozen, canned, dried, etc.).

Q: What are the best fruits and veggies to eat for happiness?

A: There is no definitive answer to this question, as different fruits and veggies may have different effects on different people. However, some general guidelines are to choose fruits and veggies that are rich in vitamin C, folate, and fiber, as these nutrients have been shown to support mood and brain function. Some examples are citrus fruits, berries, kiwis, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, lentils, and oats. You may also want to include fruits and veggies that contain phytochemicals that can modulate neurotransmitters, such as flavonoids and carotenoids. Some examples are apples, grapes, cherries, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and squash.

Q: Are there any other foods that can make me happier?

A: Yes, there are other foods that can contribute to your happiness, either by providing nutrients that support your brain, or by enhancing your enjoyment and satisfaction of eating. Some examples are nuts, seeds, oily fish, eggs, dairy, dark chocolate, fermented foods, and spices. However, moderation is key, as overeating or eating too much of certain foods can have negative effects on your mood and health. For instance, foods that are high in sugar, salt, fat, or additives can cause inflammation, oxidative stress, or blood sugar spikes, which can impair your mood and cognition. Therefore, it is best to limit your intake of processed foods, fast foods, sweets, and alcohol, and to balance them with plenty of fruits and veggies.

Tips on How to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

If you are not used to eating fruits and veggies, or if you find it hard to fit them into your busy schedule, here are some tips on how to eat more of them and enjoy them more:

  • Start your day with a fruit smoothie, a bowl of oatmeal with fresh or dried fruits, or a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and banana.
  • Snack on fruits, veggies, or nuts between meals, or whenever you feel hungry or crave something sweet. You can also dip them in hummus, yogurt, or nut butter for extra protein and flavor.
  • Add fruits and veggies to your salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, stews, curries, stir-fries, casseroles, or pasta dishes. You can also use them as toppings, fillings, or sauces for your pizzas, burgers, tacos, or quesadillas.
  • Experiment with different fruits and veggies, and try new recipes, cuisines, or cooking methods. You can roast, grill, bake, steam, or microwave them, or eat them raw or pickled. You can also use herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegar, or olive oil to enhance their taste and aroma.
  • Make fruits and veggies more accessible and visible in your home, workplace, or school. You can buy them fresh, frozen, canned, or dried, and store them in your fridge, freezer, pantry, or desk. You can also wash, chop, or peel them in advance, and pack them in containers or bags for easy grabbing.
  • Set a goal and track your progress. You can use a journal, an app, or a calendar to record how many portions of fruits and veggies you eat each day, and to monitor your mood and well-being. You can also reward yourself with something that makes you happy, such as a movie, a book, or a massage, when you reach your goal.


Eating fruits and veggies can make you happier, as well as healthier. They can boost your mood, happiness, and life satisfaction by influencing your brain chemistry, reducing your stress, and improving your gut health. To reap the benefits, you should aim to eat at least five portions of fruits and veggies per day, and up to eight if possible. You should also choose a variety of colors, types, and forms, and balance them with other healthy foods. By following these tips, you can make eating fruits and veggies a habit and a pleasure, and enjoy a happier and healthier life.

In This Post:

Editor`s Pick:
Stay In Touch

Never miss an important update. Be the first to receive our exclusive beauty tips straight into your inbox.