With apologies to the Founding Fathers: If they had mentioned "life, liberty and the pursuit of broccoli" in the Declaration of Independence, they would have covered both the pursuit of health AND happiness.
New research confirms these facts: Eating more fresh produce every day (essential for good health) coincides with feeling more curious, content and purposeful (essential components of happiness).
It may be that when you are happy, you eat more nutritious food - you aren't drowning your sorrows in a sea of depressing sugar and fat. Or maybe fueling your body with the right nutrients makes everything, from your brain to intestines, work more smoothly, and that creates a happy glow.
We say the one thing you can be certain of is that upgrading your nutrition upgrades your life!
Here are some of the mood-enhancing powers of fruits and veggies:
-Carrots, walnuts, squash and lima beans deliver an omega-3 called alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) that's key for decreasing inflammation. You want to keep your gray (and white) matter happy.
-Polyphenols in globe artichokes, broccoli, asparagus, rosemary, oregano, apricots, blueberries, green tea and turmeric help prevent cell aging and fight off cognitive decline. They also may fight anxiety, depression and stress.
-Couscous dishes up selenium. It helps regulate your thyroid (which has a huge impact on mood) and eases inflammation.
-And broccoli? Along with other cruciferous veggies, it contains a good dose of calcium, essential for maintaining healthy levels of the happy neurotransmitter serotonin, and for reducing your chances of needing wooden teeth.
© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
© King Features Syndicate