Despite the fact that most spend years in primary school drawing the food pyramids and “myplates”, many Americans neglect to eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies. While as children, there is a certain distaste for these food gems, through maturation, the importance of eating these foods is ever-constant, as among many of their benefits is the potential to create optimism; as recent studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables is directly correlated with increased happiness.
While there are a myriad of positive attributes in eating the recommended dosage of these foods including that they are high in fiber and they contain high levels of vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies are also known to carry a plethora of antioxidants, which are linked to increased optimism and happiness.
Much of the happiness has been attributed to the psychological effects of eating healthy, as it is a commonly held belief that consuming healthier foods will make one feel more on top of life, boost motivation, and increase exercise and endorphins.
In a survey at Camas High, one out of every five students said they work to eat enough fruits and vegetables, and do in fact feel positive benefits in doing so. Senior, Jacob Bedont, explained that “As an athlete I understand the importance of eating right, I for sure try to eat healthy, especially paying attention to how many fruits and vegetables I’m eating, before track meets; I feel like this always helps me perform at my best and keep me in a positive mood”.
Below are a few tips for helping
- Start early in the morning and work to get your five servings of fruits and vegetables in with your morning meal and mid morning snack so that you ensure that you get all of these good foods in early and start your day right!
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as good and sometimes easier to integrate into meals; take advantage of this with vegetable medley or a fruit smoothie
- At mealtime, think of going for vegetables first, not a protein, once you get your serving in, work on the next course of your meal
- Add fruits with desserts and sweets and combine vegetables with peanut butter, salsa, cream cheese, hummus or ranch to make them more palatable.