Which Foods Increase Happiness?

Which Foods Increase Happiness?

“Which Foods Increase Happiness?” Thousands of papers have been
published on the important topic of what determines people’s
happiness and psychological health, but what about the
potential influence of the different kinds
of foods that people eat? The rising prevalence
of mental ill health is causing a considerable burden, and so inexpensive and effective
strategies are required to improve the psychological
well-being of our population. And now we have a growing
body of literature suggesting that dietary intake
may have the potential to influence psychological well-being. Dietary intake of what? Well, given the strong
evidence base for the health benefits of
fruits and vegetables, researchers started there. Cross-sectional studies
from all over the world support this relationship between happiness and fruit and
vegetable intake. Those eating fruits and
vegetables each day had a higher likelihood of
being classified as “very happy”, suggesting a strong and
positive correlation between fruit and vegetable
consumption and happiness. Perhaps feelings of optimism, too. The largest such study
was done in Great Britain, where a dose–response
relationship was found between daily servings
of fruits and vegetables and both life satisfaction
and happiness, meaning more fruits and
veggies meant more happiness. People who got up to seven or
eight servings a day reported the highest life
satisfaction and happiness. And these associations
remained significant even after controlling
for factors such as income and illness and exercise,
smoking and body weight, suggesting fruit and
vegetable consumption wasn’t just acting as a
marker for other healthy behaviors. But how could eating plants
improve happiness on their own? Well, many fruits and veggies
contain higher levels of vitamin C, which is a co-factor in
the production of dopamine, the “zest for life”
neurotransmitter. And the antioxidants
reduce inflammation, which may lead to higher
levels of eudaemonic well-being. Aristotle’s notion
of eudaemonia, described as the highest
of all human goods, the realization of
one’s true potential, which was the aim
of this study. They wanted to know whether
eating fruit and vegetables was associated with other
markers of well-being beyond happiness and
life satisfaction, like greater eudaemonic well-being – a state of flourishing
characterized by feelings of engagement, meaning,
and purpose in life. So a sample of about
400 young adults were followed for about two weeks and
indeed young adults who ate more fruit and veggies reported
higher average eudaemonic well-being, more intense feelings of curiosity,
and greater creativity. And they could follow this
on a day by day basis— greater well-being on the
days they ate healthier. These findings suggest that
fruit and vegetable intake is related to other aspects
of human flourishing, beyond just feeling happy. Not so fast, though. Instead of eating good food
leading to a good mood, maybe the good mood led
to eating good food. Experimentally, if you put
people in a good mood, they rate healthy
foods like apples higher than indulgent
foods like candy bars. Given a choice between
M&M’s and grapes, individuals in a positive mood were more likely to
choose the grapes. The results of these studies lend support to a growing
body of research that suggests that positive mood
facilitates resistance to temptation. Who needs comfort food
when you’re already comforted? It’s like which came first,
the chicken or the egg? Yes, eating eggs can increase
our likelihood of chronic disease, but maybe chronic disease
also increases our likelihood of eating unhealthy foods. Which came first,
the mood or the food? What we need is a
study like this, but instead of looking
at well-being and diet on the same day, you see if there’s a correlation
between what you eat today, and how you feel tomorrow. But we didn’t have a
study like that… until now. They found the same
strong relationships between daily positive mood
and fruit and vegetable consumption, but lagged analyses showed
that fruit and vegetable consumption predicted improvements in
positive mood the next day, not vice versa. On days when people ate
more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer,
happier, and more energetic than they normally do, and they also felt more
positive the next day. So, eating fruit and vegetables
really may promote emotional well-being. Look, single bouts of exercise
can elevate one’s mood, why not the same thing
with healthy food? How many fruits and vegetables? Seems we need to consume
approximately 7.2 daily servings of fruit or 8.2 servings of vegetables
to notice a meaningful change.



  • FreeGoro

    I love how he builds up that "until now". You can feel it coming.

  • RibbitHopX

    Next time they should include chocolate covered strawberries in their study.

  • papaGhurka

    The research & conclusions from this video are total nonsense. 84% leave the vegetarian & vegan communities because they are not happy. I will choose M&Ms over grapes any day. (But being the responsible person that I am, I will restrict M&M consumption.) Thumbs down on the video.

  • Carly George

    Honestly speaking, I ate nothing but fruit and veg, mostly in their raw state, for 10 days and my happiness levels went through the roof! Unreal, amazing!!

  • Manuel E. Millan

    How much is a serving of vegetables?

  • Manuel E. Millan

    Very good reasoning Dr Greger

  • Yasumi Ⓥ

    in regards to the m&m vs grape study, couldn't it have been simply a matter of preference rather than resisting temptation? I'd personally go for the grapes because they taste better and provide a longer lasting sugar high! plus it's natural fruit flavor vs simulated fruit flavor. why would you go for the m&ms, if you would?
    maybe if they were peanut m&ms…peanuts are gewd.

  • experiment54

    Thats easy Pizza! the answer is always Pizza! You didn't need a 5 minute video.

  • Qris TV

    I feel happier eating vegan

  • Artie Kim

    Gotta up my FV game 🙂

  • velo1337

    what i really dont get is what ppl mean with "serving"… what is a "serving"…

  • hammypie

    I for sure feel way more energy not eating animal products.

  • london calling

    Is this video being voiced by Bill Maher? sounds so alike!

  • Jean C

    For me, it's greens, whole grains, and maybe a little bit of dark chocolate 😉 I, too, feel happier eating vegan … along with kinder, more peaceful, loving, and empathic

  • Oliver

    What would one serving be? 1 apple = 1 serving, or 100g = 1 serving?
    Or how do you calculate a serving?

  • gabriela gonzalez

    I had to go and search what a serving of fruits and vegetables was for dummies 😊

  • Raw Intuition

    very nice

  • Matticus1229

    I'm going to be honest here. Given the choice between grapes and M&M's I'll choose grapes any day. Between peanut, peanut butter, almond, and mint M&M's and grapes I'll go with the latter. It isn't until you give me the option between crispy M&M's and grapes is where I start second guessing myself =P

  • 240FP

    Must've been some happy savages around in the old days!

  • makeitraina

    Love this soo soo much!! Been vegan for over a year now 🙂 best decision of my life, wouldn't change a thing!

  • Jeong-hun Sin

    I have lots of questions about the setups… Did they all eat enough animal foods, too? Or was the fruit/vegetable eating groups vegetarians?
    Face it, vegetables are good for health but when they are eaten without animal foods, they usually taste awful. I am not saying you SHOULD eat vegetables with animal foods. I am just stating the fact for most people. Yeah, you may argue that to you, broccoli tastes more delicious than beef does, but that the majority of humans are not like that. Why do you think the majority of people are still eating meat when they know it is bad? Taste. Eating only vegetables tastes so bad and dull, it depresses me.
    Well, even for me, it would make me happier if I can eat vegetables WITH animal foods than eating solely animal foods alone.
    I am not doubting those who ate more vegetables were healthy. I am just questioning that people can be happier if their foods are restricted to vegetables.

  • Gene Hendrix

    Until now …study from 3 years ago.

  • AxCYeR

    the only good thing about bad diets and a sick society is the positive effects everybody can experience once they change their lives for the better, simply by going plant-based and natural … add exercise, sunlight, friends & family, hobbies and some intelligent supplementation (B12, Magnesium, D3, …) and your going to feel how we are supposed to. ☼

  • farm country

    How trolls work. . .
    So far, there are 478 thumbs up and 3 (yes three) thumbs down.
    Yet these "3" people have diarrhea on the thread attacking anything that resembles healthy nutrition proven by abundant real research which followers of Dr G know we can substantiate as he also cites specifics. These trolls replaced the last trolls, who replaced the previous trolls. I wonder if Monsanto or Big Pharma is paying them for their diarrhea, or if they are PaleoFascists who are allergic to healthy eating.

  • Barbara Stamm

    0:58 vedschables eadsch day
    what was up with that?

  • Katie Jordan

    This is no joke. When I eat my breakfast and lunch all fruit and some veggies raw I seriously after two days become euphoric. 100% change in my mood, energy, and outlook on life.

  • Meta Patriot

    Unhappiness has a direct correlation to a Chocolate Cake deficiency!

  • White Kita

    no wonder I am such a happy girl…….  lol

  • Beyond Unknown Ⓥ

    I eat 35 bananas a day.

  • rem mer

    Were the veg and fruits eaten conventional or organic or a mix of both?

  • Tasha NZ

    Happiness gains.

  • Jadester

    I really believe this. Since eating a plant based diet I have a greater sense of well being and overall happiness. It was almost immediate.

  • liwymi

    I've been vegetarian since birth and vegan for the past 5 years. I eat lots of whole unprocessed foods. Been suffering from some depression for roughly the past year. I've been taking B12, iron, vitamin D plus more and tried high/low raw, high/low carb, high/low protein but haven't found much of a difference 🙁

  • KiwiBanana

    Happiness Gains!!!

  • Justin Goodrich

    I'd like to see this channel have a playlist with individual in depth looks into various foods. There's a few on this channel already. Kinda like how Periodic Videos has a video on every single element individually, I'd like to see this channel do more videos on individual foods.

  • gesus44

    So your saying meat eating is a slaves food?

  • WisdomTooth

    Yellow pigments in general for happiness but yeah RAW/Un-heated plant-based (Live/Life-force/Active Enzymatic Foods) is the Future.

  • I-Love-Music

    Only Animals eat Animals"

  • WeGain Community

    Whats sour opinion to 'candida albicans' – comparing whta was first the bacterial overgrowth or the cravings for sugar..?
    Maybe you can bring some light to this with cold facts and studies 😉

  • valnaples

    I cannot tell you how many times when I am prepping my work lunches that co-workers say "Oh…the colors in your lunch are so lovely!" YEP…and that even ADDS to my happiness and then I am also HAPPY to try to tell them about RED cabbage, FRESH TURMERIC, DARK KALE…etc!

  • El Vegano Cordobes

    Never been happier and optimistic in my entire life

  • Yoko

    very true! from my experiences!

  • Ron M.

    Kale yeah! This is great information!

  • Ida Johannessen

    I`m depressed and don`t have the energy to make myself healthy meals all the time, sadly. I try to drink smoothies and add some frozen vegetables to my dinner. I also go to therapy and try to work out a few times a week when I manage to get out of bed. I really hope I`m able to get out of this situation soon. I hate feeling like this.

  • Janice H

    I noticed a huge change in my mood going mostly raw! I knew it! 🙂

  • SaltLifeVegan

    I get to meet Dr. Greger on Friday, it has def increased my happiness! XD

  • Daniel

    This is a very powerfull tool, i've become a happier person since i switched to a whole plant based diet, with lots of fruits and veggies everyday, i used to be stressfull and angry all the time, hating and criticising everyone, blaming outside situations for my personal failures.
    PS. Your voice reminded me to Frank Underwood from House of Cards Dr. Greger.

  • peacerebelgirl

    eating fruits&veggies (and being vegan) sure makes me happy 🙂

  • leafgrrl

    14 years vegan and only felt better when I was 100% raw years ago. I try to get back to it but can't seem to.

  • rodibremo

    Is this "The vicious circle of happiness"…?

  • Fredinotmercurybut

    Please, put the captions Under this video for hearing impared audience as well as for the foreign one. Merci.

  • elia .07

    How much does equate to one serving?
    Other than that, another great video Dr, can't wait to see you in London on the 28th! 🙂

  • William Read

    Really Long Bananas make vegan gains really happy

  • Kolmi Martin

    That video should be named "do fruits and vegetables" increase happines(of course they do)", not "which foods"… No fancy foods were named guys, not cool 🙁

  • Vegan Mark

    So much great information. It`s amazing how few people understand the correlation between the food that you put into your body and the health or otherwise of your brain.

  • Anastasiah Lauritzen

    Dear Dr. Greger. I have followed you for some time and feel the urge to tell you that I have taken many of your recommendations into practice. I didn't know that turmeric could taste good with greens and beans. I love that you put your heart into making these videos and inspiring us to eat healthier. You deserve 10000 of gold medals for your beautiful and powerful work. I proud of you and hope to meet you one day in person. Continue to rock and all the best from Anastasiah

  • Coleen Jones

    can you do a video about juice plus?

  • The Savannah Ape

    What if it's dried fruit and frozen vegetables? Or juices?

  • ashtweth

    The chicken , cow and lamb i just ate were all VEGANS, does that count? (yes i am joking)

  • PortiaSP

    although eating good foods is important to maintain healthy body, happiness is mostly related with the psych.

  • Ashenone88

    The earth has given us all the wonderful fruits and vegetables we will ever need. So stop eating meat and consume more plants. Eating a plant based diet will increase your years on this planet.

  • Bourne Accident

    I agree that bacon, chicken, eggs, steak, etc. increase happiness.  Add plenty of fresh fruit and veggies and we're all happy.

  • BrazilianCurls

    doctor, can you also make a video on vegetarianism?

  • pamperito

    Heya, The best success that I have ever had was with Red hot slim (just google it) Without a doubt the most incredible diet that I have ever tried.

  • Juan Douek

    Please fix the spanish subtitle!

  • D Master

    if you can't afford that much fruit and vegetables take a vitamin C supplement. a friend of mine was in a very pessimistic mood on a daily basis. I started supplementing her with vitamin C 1 gram per day. her mood seemed to change overnight. she was now much more optimistic and happy everyday consistently. this shows that Vitamin C supplements make a big difference if you're deficient. before doctors start prescribing a benzodiazepine or an ssri why don't they first try supplementing with vitamin C first.

  • MS

    love your puns Dr Greger "vitamin c, zest for life."

  • Bio Hacker

    beast mode activated, all I do is eat fruit and veg now,,like a beast I feast within my 6hr window then I train my brain on anything that isn't a horizontal plane ;p

  • Cocoa Mel

    I have been eating more raw vegetables as well as fruit than meats. I notice (now), while eating different meats, can make me feel depressed and weary.


    Thank you so much

  • Pleiadian

    Roughly 8 servings of fruits and 8 of vegetables to feel happy? Practically we need to eat all day?? 😩

  • Anders

    How much is a serving in grams???

    I think I eat 200-500 grams of fruit every day.

  • Anders

    When I feel stressed, I automatic begin binge eating. For some reason cravings for unhealthy food like meat,cheese, icecream comes out of the blue. I just eat whatever in sight lol. Hate the stressed capitalistic world we live in. Its FUCKED UP.

  • Kaiser Frost

    Liver, fatty fish (herring, anchovies, sardines, salmon) and sunlight filled in the gaps for me. My diet was 65+ % plant based to begin with, but I was still having depression. When it comes to mood vitamin D3 is absolutely vital. I'm not saying don't eat healthy, but unless you are out in the sun with most of your skin exposed fir at least part of the day you probably aren't getting enough.

  • Vollick

    until now…

  • Noboil Frog

    One of the many of Dr Greger's video's that should be being played in GP's waiting rooms.

  • Michelle Feist

    I was able to overcome my schizophrenia with a plant based diet in 2 years. It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I’ve gotten off 4 medications that were unhealthy doses for even a 200lb human, and I’m only 105lbs. I’m so happy to see that there is a channel that gives more meaning to this subject, along with depression and anxiety. Thank Dr.Greger.

  • Whole Food Plant-Based Man

    People think I am 20 years old from my looks. I just nod along and agree. I eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains as 99% of my diet. Eat plant-based = look young forever.

  • Deals togo

    I don't know. I feel pretty happy after eating chocolate ice cream.

  • Ghost Diaper

    Maybe people report a better mood after eating healthy because they know they are eating healthy and it simply makes them feel good about themselves.

  • forest dew

    εισαι θεος ρε φιλε, ο ευδαιμων της διατροφης

  • W

    americans with thier retarded "servings".

  • susan brandt

    I completely agree with this!

  • Justin

    how much is a serving of veggies? a cup?

  • Kat

    it's honestly impossible to express with words how greatly going vegan has improved my mental health. it's not about the morality of it, it worked so well it was better than any drug they could have prescribed me. i simply haven't had such clarity of mind, sense of purpose and goal in life and the overall content since i was a preschool child. so for someone in the middle of her 20s is huge…. bc around this time i can see people getting more negative, not the other way around 😀

  • Emma T

    What is classed as a serving?

  • isabel landaverde

    I just ate watermelon and i feel happy and fresh lol

  • Nizar’s My first name

    Why does body odor smell like onions ? And do I like it and just don’t know it ?

  • wren460

    I am super extra happy and eat steak and chicken every day. Until recently I had never eaten vegetables and now I am havign a daily salad. I´ve been eating the salad for a year or so, I have noticed zero effects at all. I am sure that many humans are better and healthier eating meat, I am proof of one of them.

  • kolo

    cashew nuts and cocoa beans are also AMAZING happy foods!
    just try it out and you will seee!
    crush the cocoa beans and let them soak in water or cashew milk for example, and eat cashew nuts… well i think, i really do not need to give you advice on how to eat cashew nuts sooo,
    have a great day, bye!

  • Adam 3d

    I feel happy for several hours after eating Bacon

  • kjell159

    This doesn't work for me apparently.
    When life sucks because you attract bad luck, you're just fucked.
    No (pharmaceutical) drug, herb, diet, exercise, therapy, … will change that.
    There is no point in changing your worlds view, when the world itself hates you apparently.

  • ッxZefyr

    I went vegan, exercise every day, yet I'm still depressed as fuck. Am I doing something wrong?

  • nebojsa1976

    The only thing that brings my mood way up is potatoes in oil and steak.

  • Fucking Potatoes

    Ughhhh….I love vegetables. Fruits? Not so much. They're ok, but ill go a week without any fruit and not miss it. Veggies tho? I live for it.

  • teak43

    He didn’t say “put it to the test” 😔

  • jofenbat

    Just Brilliant compilation of studies. Very well explained, Dr. Greger. THanks!!!!!

  • Berlin Wall

    Maybe people that are happy are more likely to eat healthy?
    Edit: he addressed it

  • Thecompleted Luigitwat

    if i ever become a billionaire i am going to donate a fuck tone of money to this website.

  • cindy o

    Thank you dr. Greger! Thanks to you, for the first time in my life I actually know how to eat to stay healthy. Bless you.

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