Health and wellness encompass our entire well-being, including physical, mental and emotional health. Through these uncertain times, positive thinking can be supported with lifestyle choices. Fruits and vegetables provide one avenue to keep our body strong, beyond our physical health. Certain mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, are correlated with a reduced fruit and veggie intake. By incorporating more fruits and veggies each day, we care for our body from the inside out.
Here are some tips to boost your mood with fruits and veggies!
Add the Antioxidants
Both fruits and veggies, such as berries, citrus, and dark leafy greens, are known to be rich in antioxidants. Research suggests that people with anxiety and depression have a lower number of antioxidants in their body. An increase of antioxidants in your body may in fact improve anxiety and depression. Just another reason to get your servings in each day!
Variety in color throughout the week is key. Each color group provides different nutrients. For example, green produce is full of vitamin A, B vitamins, iron and magnesium whereas orange/yellow produce provides vitamin C, potassium and calcium. Nutrients, especially B vitamins, vitamin C, iron and magnesium, are essential pieces to the puzzle for energy production, hormone regulation, and cell development. Without these vital nutrients, symptoms related to depression, poor mood, and fatigue are more likely to be present.
Savor & Slow Down
Mindfulness can be a helpful tool to refocus stress and negative thoughts. Be mindful of the fruits and veggies you choose and note the color, taste and texture. Not only will this help you have variety of colors, but also help you slow down and appreciate each type.
All Forms Fit
- Fresh, frozen, or canned count towards your servings of fruit and veggies each day. For full flavors, nutrients and affordability, purchase fruits and veggies that are in season.
- Frozen produce offers a convenient way to have out of season favorites, but still gain the nutrient benefits. Frozen produce is harvested at the peak of season and flash-frozen to seal the nutrients.
- Choose no salt added and low sodium canned veggies and canned in 100% juice or water for canned fruits. Rinse both canned varieties to remove excess sodium and sugar.
- Dried fruits can often have added sugar. Try freeze dried fruit instead and check the nutrition facts label to be sure no additional sugar is added.
Find Your Flair
Not fond of fresh veggies? You may prefer roasted broccoli over steamed or fresh. Try blending steamed cauliflower or carrots into a soup or sauce for added texture and nutrients.