New research led by the University of Kent and University of Reading has found that fruit and vegetable consumption as well as exercise can increase levels of happiness.
While the link between lifestyle and well being has been previously documented and often used in public health campaigns to encourage healthier diets and exercise, new findings published by the Journal of Happiness Studies show that there is also a positive causation from lifestyle to life satisfaction.
This research is the first of its kind to unravel the causation of how happiness, the consumption of fruit and vegetables and exercising are related, rather than generalizing a correlation. The researchers, Dr Adelina Gschwandtner (Kent’s School of Economics), Dr Sarah Jewell and Professor Uma Kambhampati (both from the University of Reading’s School of Economics), used an instrumental variable approach to filter out any effect from happiness to lifestyle. It showed that it is rather the consumption of fruit and vegetables and exercising that makes people happy and not the other way round.
Nobody intends to overbuy fresh produce, but we’re all familiar with the mystery bag of green mush at the bottom of the crisper drawer. Buying too much food, serving too much at meals, and improper storage are ways Americans waste food at home, to the tune of $2,200 per year, according to researchers at Tufts University.
Fresh is Not Always Best: Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to avoid produce waste while still getting nutritional quality that is at least as good as fresh. It is also a money saver when foods are not in season. Frozen berries, for example, can be used year-round in favorites like smoothies, parfaits, and oatmeal. Frozen is also ideal for whatever go-to vegetables you like to always have on hand. Choices like broccoli and green beans can be stand-alone sides or ingredients in soups and casseroles. It doesn’t hurt that most frozen produce is conveniently pre-cut. Some canned vegetables, like tomatoes, corn, and mushrooms, are also smart choices for stocking the pantry. They are nutritious (opt for the no-salt versions), have a long shelf-life, and are a time-saver.
Diet is known to influence heart health. Experts recommend a diet low in sodium and saturated fat to reduce the risk of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet also includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Research shows that the Mediterranean diet—full of fruits, vegetables, fish, cereals, and legumes, with little meat and dairy—may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Few studies have examined the relationship between overall diet and sudden cardiac death, a common cause of death in the United States. In sudden cardiac death, the heart abruptly stops beating, leading to death within an hour of symptoms. Small studies have suggested that the Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of sudden cardiac death.
A team led by Dr. James M. Shikany of the University of Alabama at Birmingham examined whether dietary patterns are associated with the risk of sudden cardiac death. The study was funded by NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute on Aging (NIA), and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Results were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on July 6, 2021.
The researchers analyzed the diets of more than 21,000 participants using a food questionnaire at the start of the study. Participants were asked how often and in what quantities they ate 110 foods in the past year. Both those with and without a history of coronary heart disease were included. Participants were part of the long-running REGARDS (REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) study.
Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is associated with less stress, according to new research from Edith Cowan University (ECU).
The study examined the link between fruit and vegetable intake and stress levels of more than 8,600 Australians aged between 25 and 91 participating in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) Study from Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.
The findings revealed people who ate at least 470 grams of fruit and vegetables daily had 10 per cent lower stress levels than those who consumed less than 230 grams. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per day.
Higher consumption of fruit, vegetables and whole grain foods are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to two studies published by The BMJ.
The findings suggest that even a modest increase in consumption of these foods as part of a healthy diet could help prevent type 2 diabetes.
In the first study, a team of European researchers examined the association between blood levels of vitamin C and carotenoids (pigments found in colourful fruits and vegetables) with risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Everything from how you cook meat to what you eat for dessert
can play a role in your brain health.
Here, how to eat to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.
by Kenneth S. Kosik, MD
There is no one best dietary pattern when it comes to eating for optimum brain health. Nor is there one magical food or supplement. Instead, a wide range of eating patterns—Asian eating, the MIND diet, the Mediterranean diet, vegan eating—has been shown to protect your brain. Although those eating patterns vary—for example, some include meat, others don’t; some place a heavy emphasis on fish, others suggest no fish—they all tend to have one thing in common: a preponderance of antioxidant-rich plant foods.
Plants manufacture antioxidant chemicals to protect themselves from ultra- violet light and disease. When we eat these plants—in the form of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and grains—we consume this built-in protection, and their…