When healthy adults consume the daily number of servings of vegetables recommended Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), has a positive effect on how happy a person feels, according to one study led by scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture.
Many studies show that the daily intake of fruits and vegetables recommended by the DGA is good for our overall health, but only a few studies have shown the role of vegetable consumption in mental health.
A group of scientists from Human Nutrition Research Center at Grand Forks in Grand Forks, North Dakota, conducted an eight-week study to assess the impact of increasing the daily serving of vegetables on compliance with DGA guidelines for self-reported happiness, a key indicator of psychological well-being.
The study divided healthy men and women aged 18 to 65 into two groups. The first group of participants received daily servings of the DGA’s recommended amount and variety of vegetables, including dark green, red, orange, and starchy vegetables, based on their energy needs during the study. Portions of vegetables were minimally processed (raw and diced), making it easy for participants to include them in their meals.
The second group of participants received the same amount of interaction and attention from researchers while maintaining a diet without the addition of vegetables.
Here are the feeding guidelines recommended by the government to its residents:
All participants completed a questionnaire called the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS). This is a subjective assessment that gives an overall average score for a person’s state of happiness based on the respondent’s point of view. The study included measurements taken before and after an eight-week intervention.
“We saw an increase in SHS scores in group members who followed the DGA recommendations for vegetable consumption, while SHS scores remained the same for the control group who did not change their diet,” said Shanon, research biologist..
“The results show that increasing the amount of vegetables you eat each day can benefit your mental health,” Casperson added.
The eight-week study was part The largest study conducted at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center to determine whether overweight and obese adults would be more motivated to eat vegetables if they increased their servings. ate every day.