Life can find you feeling pessimistic, however, a healthy body may help keep your outlook on life bright. There haven’t been many studies done yet on how our physical health affects our physiological health, but I am sure it is profound. I became especially interested in that link after reading The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, M.A, who helps treat depression through nutrition.
So a new study that explored the connection between antioxidant serum concentrations and physiological health stuck out to me as very interesting. In this study with 982 people, they wanted to compare the self-reported optimism levels of everyone along with their antioxidant (carotenoids and vitamin E) serum scores. The serum scores where assumed to be higher in those who ate more produce and whole wheat (for the vitamin E). They found that the higher carotenoid levels were correlated to higher optimism (The vitamin E, however, wasn’t).
Is it possible that eating fruits and vegetables that contain more antioxidants could make us happier and more optimistic about our future? There needs to be more studies (for example, it could be possible that optimistic people tend to eat more vegetables and fruits, hence the higher antioxidant levels), but personally, I wouldn’t be surprised.
I know for myself that when I am eating right, and I feel healthy, it is much easier to be cheerful despite life’s curve balls. Bad food, lack of sleep, not getting enough down time, or time with friends, can also hamper my mood and sense of optimism.
While there are a lot of factors for being able to face our futures with cheerfulness, eating more produce couldn’t hurt, now could it? The Mood Cure tells us that we need plenty of protein and lots of produce (I think it is something like 8 cups worth a day!) to get the macro and micronutrients we need to stay healthy and happy. This study gives some evidence that the author is on to something
What about you? Do you find that your mood or sense of optimism is affected by how you eat?