Flashback Friday: Which Foods Increase Happiness?

Flashback Friday: Which Foods Increase Happiness?
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Certain foods are linked not only to increased happiness, but also to greater “eudaemonic” well-being—feelings of engagement, creativity, meaning, and purpose in life.

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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 have 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, illness, 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 high levels of vitamin C, which is a co-factor in the production of dopamine, the “zest for life” neurotransmitter. And the antioxidants in fruits and veggies reduce inflammation, which may lead to higher levels of eudaemonic well-being. 

 Aristotle’s notion of eudaemonia described 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 fruits 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 fruits 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 stricken 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 normal, 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.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Mark Carthy via 123rf.

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 have 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, illness, 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 high levels of vitamin C, which is a co-factor in the production of dopamine, the “zest for life” neurotransmitter. And the antioxidants in fruits and veggies reduce inflammation, which may lead to higher levels of eudaemonic well-being. 

 Aristotle’s notion of eudaemonia described 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 fruits 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 fruits 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 stricken 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 normal, 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.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Mark Carthy via 123rf.

Doctor's Note

For more on this topic, I invite you to watch my video Plant-Based Diets for Improved Mood and Productivity.

Sadly, there are 20 times more studies published on health and depression than there are on health and happiness. There is growing interest in the so-called positive psychology movement, though. See Are Happier People Actually Healthier? for more.

I mentioned in passing the benefits of exercise for boosting mood, and here is more on maximizing movement:

And check out my newer video Benefits of Blueberries for Mood & Mobility.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

110 responses to “Flashback Friday: Which Foods Increase Happiness?

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  1. With all my respect to tDr.Greger, I didn’t get an answer what certain fruits and vegetables should we eat to increase happiness. Otherwise better to change the topic name.

    1. The title is ok imo after reading a few of the linked sources. The title asks which foods and not, which fruits and veggies, should we eat to increase happiness. In the studies, people were often asked what they ate during the day, and this info was processed as food groups.
      This study suggests the fruit and veggies with higher antioxidant levels affected optimism https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23257932
      We probably have got it covered with eating the Daily Dozen!

    2. I have understood that it is the consomption of all fruits and vegetables that contributes to happiness. In my personal experience, consuming raw veggie food and some meals based only on my favorite fruits definitely rises my energy, my good mood and a feeling of both satisfaction and physical lightness. Paired with physical actIvities, when I do that over days, my skin glows and I clearly look much much younger (I am 59)

    3. “Those eating fruits and vegetables each day have 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.”

      Eat the rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies. There is no single miracle cure food for unhappiness. Fiber and phytonutrients are it.

      1. Yes, eat your fruits and veggies, but need to avoid those high in glyphosate.
        Apparently, among other problems with glyphosate, it blocks manganese. Manganese is a trace mineral needed by the body. Is it possible that the rise in arthritis, and people needing joint replacements is related to i creasing glyphosate use?

        Long article, but worth reading- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392553/

  2. This is the first time I’ve seen this video. I’ve followed some of the happiness research. Some of the first I came across decades ago was Studs Terkle’s book, Working, where by Terkle found that meaningful work made people happy. Then there was Mikhaly Cekzentimaly’s (spelling?) work on happiness where he found that focused people are happy. He called this focus a zone (getting in your zone–intense focus). My parents were teachers and I remember when public schools brought in breakfast for kids–reason being that hungry kids can’t focus on learning. Dr. Greger did a video pointing out that some kids are dehydrated and that just giving them water increases cognitive function.

    1. Hungry and dehydrated children can’t focus is a big deal. With over 50% of parents getting divorced and so many never getting married in the first place, so many children are being raised in poverty and those school meals are the most reliable food intake that they have. I have a friend from church who went to jail during his alcohol-addicted young man years and that arrest affected his employment for the rest of his life and he struggled to feed his 5 kids. I bought them groceries a few times and I will tell you that just one load of groceries – trying to include toilet paper for the whole family and shampoo and toothpaste, etc, on top of trying to mentally portion out enough food for all of them for one week was ridiculously expensive. Just doing it even once was more than I could afford. I always felt compassion for genuinely poor people.

      As far as Studs Terkel’s Working, that remains in my personal top 50 books list. I tried to say, “my favorite” but it was already a lie, but I genuinely love that book.

      My favorite photography book is probably:

      https://www.magnumphotos.com/newsroom/society/jim-goldberg-rich-and-poor/

      1. When I looked up F & V intake, for males, the ones who don’t eat fruit and vegetables tend to be socioeconomically poor.

        Many of the health issues come from the “rich” Western diet, but when poor people don’t eat their F & V that is an interesting wrinkle in the equation.

      2. “and so many never getting married in the first place, so many children are being raised in poverty”

        De facto relationships cause poverty?

        1. WFPB,

          Actually, having children is the single biggest risk factor of poverty for a woman. It also depresses her lifelong income. It’s true for married as well as single women.

          1. Actually, having children is the single biggest risk factor of poverty for a woman. It also depresses her lifelong income. It’s true for married as well as single women.
            —————————————————————————-
            Makes sense as she probably spends a lot of her time tending to family matters, even if she’s employed.

            I am childless and male so I don’t pretend to know what a woman might be thinking. But since this is about happiness, I wonder where being a mother ranks on the happiness scale for women, compared to those who are childless?

            1. Hi, Lonie.

              You asked, “… I wonder where being a mother ranks on the happiness scale for women, compared to those who are childless?”

              This entertaining talk, Happiness: What your Mother didn’t Tell You (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1Y2Z1BGwno), given by social psychologist Dan Gilbert at the WORLD. MINDS Annual Symposium in 2018, answers that. He begins to discuss happiness and having children around the 13.43 minute mark.

              To summarize, both men and women tend to be happier when they don’t have children; children tend to impact the happiness of women more than men.

    1. Laughing, reproductive-window-wise and risk of certain diseases-wise that might make women happier, but being post-menopausal is its own happy dance.

  3. This video could be improved with photos of what 7 or 8 servings of fruit and vegetables look like. It’s not really that much but those who don’t eat whole plant foods could think this is an insurmountable amount of salad which is all they think of when fruit and veg are mentioned.

    1. Anne, that is a brilliant comment.

      I was thinking the same thing.

      I have been eating big salads every day, but I looked at my salad and thought, “How many servings of vegetables are you?”

      I am mostly eating just fruits and vegetables and beans right now and I am still not sure that I make the higher intake of them.

    1. Debi Collins,

      Dr. Greger has a free app, The Daily Dozen, for smartphones; it lists the recommended foods to eat throughout the day (beans, grains, greens, etc), how many servings, and has links to what a serving size is as well as additional information about that food type.

      There are also videos about the Daily Dozen; you can find them by typing “daily dozen” in the search bar on this site.

      A serving size depends upon the produce and whether it’s raw, cooked, or dried.

  4. I know a woman who eats nothing but fruit, a fruitarian who even has written books about it. She is batty as hell and mean. Been through several divorces and legal issues regarding underfed children in her care and blames everyone but herself.

    Food may affect mood slightly but it is the basal personality that will always be dominate.

    1. Jimbo, that is a good point and a lot of the fruitarian community on-line are “unstable” in a lot of ways. Some seem okay, but that group seems to be the ones who have identity mood swings.

      1. There’s also a couple who used to call themselves vegan and they were well known via the internet and youtube and all that and apparently were fruitarians, but recently started eating meat, more specifically lamb–they went straight for the baby animals interestingly. I think a lot of these people who go on extreme diets begging to notice negative consequences and instead of blaming their extremism they blame a plant based or vegan diet. There is way too much of this going on and they all seem to have youtube channels.

    2. We live in a toxic environment, where diet is but one piece of the equation.

      TV, drugs, alcohol, environment, family, friends, and upbringing among other factors all play a roll in mood.

  5. It doesn’t promote my happiness and well-being to have that tab for Facebook, Twitter, email, etc right in the place where the comment section is.

    But, I wonder if they did any tests against intermittent fasting, or the possibility that those who ate more vegetables ate more bulk and less calories, were less bloated, and had more energy from not having to digest a large meal. There are times when I have fasted or just not eaten very much and I find I feel a lot better, more happy. more hopeful. I heard the word “suggests” a lot in this video, meaning that the data from some of these experiments is a bit iffy.

    1. Bruce,

      As far as the data being “iffy” I would say that Dr. Greger explained the scientific process of trying to sort out which came first the food or the mood and the food won by the end, but it took more than one study to tease things out.

      I am sure that intermittent fasting has the same scientific progression where they wonder about things like whether it causes fatty liver or insulin resistance, etc.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5371748/

      Either way, fruit and vegetable intake has plenty of mechanisms. It can increase folate and lower Homocysteine and lower inflammation in a dose-dependent manner. It can increase Vitamin C and that has so many positive effects, like not needing cataract surgery. It can increase Luteine intake and that would improve the eyesight and the brain function.

      If you are going to ask which is better eating fruit and vegetables versus intermittent fasting, I would say that you are underestimating how many things fruit and vegetables accomplish and I am already wondering what you are eating instead.

        1. What is interesting to me is that being LOW in any of those things is a higher risk factor for disease than being HIGH

          in meat intake
          processed meat intake
          sugary drink consumption
          sodium
          transfats

    2. Hi Bruce, thanks for your comment. Thank you also to Deb to make explanation regarding the findings. In a way of explanation of the results one can say it suggests that or it indicates that…. Using suggests that does not make the study findings less accurate.

      However, Dr Greger goes on to further explains that, ” 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 normal, 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”.

      1. Spring03,

        Thanks for posting the transcript. I always understand things better when I read the transcripts.

        I read this about exercise and mood and found it interesting.

        https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/exercise-and-mood

        I went to Planet Fitness last night and walked for the first time in a long time.

        I had switched to outdoor walking because my dog always looked jealously at me coming home after a long walk on a treadmill.

        But my dog got sick and I promised not to take him on walks and Winter was too cold, Spring was all rain and Summer has been way too hot or thunderstorming, so outdoor walking has been a bust.

  6. We gotta love ❤️ this NF site. Everyday we learn and share information, right or maybe kinda incorrect because it doesn’t meet our opinion —- but it all makes us THINK . We have grown together whether we agree or not. Let’s put out a cheer for Dr. G and NF. How about chiming In now . ❤️

    1. Ruthie,

      That is so sweet!

      Yes, having the meeting of minds, even when there are opposing positions is something I truly love!

      There isn’t a good cheer emoji on my list, but I will add in some smiley faces with heart eyes.

    2. Ruthie and Spring, yes, thank you for mentioning that. It is important to think and learn. Sometimes look at things from another prospective.
      Thank you Dr. G for infusing this site with your enthusiasm and joyful personality.

    3. Ruthie & Spring, I totally agree. I have been visiting this website for about 6 years now and have also watched the older videos published even before that. I also visit many of the other WFPB websites produced by T Colin Campbell, Dr McDougall, Dr Fuhrman, and many others. But I can safely say that this website is the one that has convinced me to change my diet to WPF the most. And with the detailed information presented here, I have been able to continually refine my diet over the years with the new information presented so clearly by Dr Greger’s method of presentation. I might add that I have also learned a great deal from the comments posted here by so many enthusiastic readers.

      1. Hal,

        Exactly! I watch everybody else’s videos and go to all of their websites, but this is the one which helps me the most.

        I think because it actually has a community and I think that is because of how often Dr. Greger posts and how entertaining he is and because he talks about the studies themselves.

        Plus, the other sites tend to be presenting their own programs and Dr. Greger talks about everybody else’s studies, too.

        The quality of interaction on this site is so much higher and the moderators are helpful and kindhearted, rather than the “Dr. Greger program” police.

        Plus, the videos themselves are so high quality and have such entertainment value. The visuals in the videos are powerful and the access to transcripts and study link are helpful. Plus, having the topics indexed is super helpful.

        There are hidden corners of the site like the Nutritional FAQ and the Live Q&A’s and the audio podcasts which are little hidden gems.

        But the audience is a big part of the experience and you are one of the ones who make me smile.

        1. Deb, re: “But the audience is a big part of the experience and you are one of the ones who make me smile.”

          Thank you for the compliment! Actually you are one of the ones who make this comment section enjoyable, and I appreciate the links to studies that you provide for us.

          And thanks for the reminder about the hidden gems in the FAQ and Q&A sections. I need to visit those more frequently than I currently do.

  7. I have been watching Krocks in the Kitchen videos and they have talked a few times how salad is filling and I agree with them.

    It surprises me because I had eaten salad during diets at times in my life and I have had a perception of them as unsatisfying and not filling.

    I am sure those probably were with iceberg lettuce. Is there a difference in satiety between greens?

  8. I just watched one minute of Did I Mention Invention and it was this sweet, very-young person who invented something to clean the ocean of micro plastics.

    1. I just watched one minute of Did I Mention Invention and it was this sweet, very-young person who invented something to clean the ocean of micro plastics.
      ——————————————————————————————————-
      Is that the one with the netting setup that goes to the great Pacific Ocean whirlpool and gathers plastics that way? If so, I wasn’t aware the process captured micro plastics.

      1. No, it was something called a Nautilus, which obviously is a common name. It was a young person. It reminded me of the thing you can use to vacuum blinds. With the little things… Laughing. Thing 1 and Thing 2 and Thing 3 would be the Thing which cleaned the river.

  9. It had sensors and a filter and was like a robot vac and might take 100 million years to clean the ocean, but the filthy river did get clean with Thing 3.

  10. It could distinguish between water and microplastics. I am not sure that it needs to distinguish. There are so many microplastics, that a much less smart filterer fishy thing might work and be less likely to have a computer breakdown.

  11. I wouldn’t be that hasty to jump at the conclusion the researchers are asserting.

    First and foremost, one thing lagging after another doesn’t necessarily mean the first thing causing the other. Think about the fact, many times reiterated here, that ED precedes detectable heart disease (while being its sort of first symptom), yet you can’t say ED causes heart disease. In this case, it could just as well mean that the perception of well-being slightly lags after actual well-being (or, that when answering “How are you today?”, you consciously or unconsciously also consider how were you yesterday).

    Second, they report “meaningful” changes after adding 5 servings of fruit, however, they never report they had anyone like that in their data. The average consumption of fruit was 1.7 serving/day and on “positive affect” days (whatever that is) it increased by 0.1. They never report the range of amount of fruit the subjects were eating (the study is very skimpy on reporting outcomes). The 5 servings/day value seems to be obtained merely by extrapolation, which might not be valid.

    Third, “meaningful” change for them means 1/5 of the standard deviation of the individual’s mood. That means, imagine you recall your moods over a fortnight. Some would be better, some would be worse but I wouldn’t expect any extraordinary differences. This “meaningful” change would only take you from the worst of that to 1/10 between the worst and the best. Assuming 20 servings of fruit would exhaust your daily amount of calories, this indicates these are only minuscule gains, if any.

    1. Correction, it’s even less than “1/10 between the worst and the best”.

      Which only shows why you should be extra wary of any result in psych.

    2. JP,

      Thanks for your input.

      I agree with you about the ED and heart disease. Both being caused by something else.

      But, isn’t it slightly different in this case? ED isn’t a food.

      Fruits and veggies have mechanisms.

      If the Vitamin C causes the Dopamine response and if they have antioxidants, which decrease inflammation and the brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress.and low or high or low or high glutathione, which they link to depression from those cruel swimming mice study and shocking the mice studies and other studies like that, but I can only remember the stupid swimming mice and the fact that glutathione is something to look up some time again. The broccoli sprouts boost NRf2, whatever that really means. Wait, I found it, it is a master regulator of our bodies response to environmental stress, no matter what type of stress it is, so that sounds pretty good. Plant foods have folate, which can lower Homocysteine and can lower excess glutamate and they can contribute to Serotonin and Melatonin and things like veggies at the start of a meal can help with blood glucose and there is the whole Broccoli Sprouts effect on the heat shock proteins affecting the synapses and Cruciferous helps heal our mitochondria and helps with metabolic repair. Also, It inhibits NF-κB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) I put the full title because “Light-chain-enhancer” is such a cool title. I have no idea how the light-chain-enhancer could be a bad thing, but, well, I have heard some inflammatory statements against it.

      Plus, there are studies on depression with the things above and some of them are pretty exciting.

      In the published trial, the researchers looked for metabolic abnormalities in 33 adolescents and young adults with treatment-resistant depression and 16 controls. Although the specific metabolites affected differed among patients, the researchers found that 64 percent of the patients had a deficiency in neurotransmitter metabolism, compared with none of the controls.

      In almost all of these patients, treating the underlying deficiency improved their depression symptoms, and some patients even experienced complete remission. In addition, the further along the patients progress in the treatment, the better they are getting, Dr. Pan added.

      Several of the cross-sectional studies, had the 7 servings.

      Does average mean that nobody ate that much?

      I looked at the study, but didn’t pay the $7 to go further.

      1. JP,

        I used to not eat my FV and I used to be so suicidal and it is so far away from then now that it is almost a dream.

        I do feel like they really do help, but I could be having the best placebo effect years of my life. Or my brain damage could have been in really cool areas, too.

        But there are a lot of studies out there and they have done studies like preventing PTSD by feeding people directly after a traumatic event and feeding people in prison and having them have fewer fights and they have fed people who were suicidal in psych wards and they were less likely to attempt suicide.

        Those are things I remember looking at a long time ago, but they were studies I liked.

        1. Plus, people like Dr. Ornish have had pretty successful studies with his diet versus depression.

          I say people like Dr. Ornish and may mean Dr. Ornish.

          Boy, it was a long time ago.

          The time I have been here has gone by so fast.

          1. JP,

            I am not a scientist, nor a medical person.

            I have only been doing this process for a short time period.

            Do you analyze studies differently if you see other studies from all around the world, which also seem to point in the same direction?

            I am wondering how people do the “big picture” process.

            To me, that is where I look for mechanisms and I am a newbie, still just trying to learn the mechanisms.

            Mechanisms are what I feel most comfortable with. I haven’t learned enough science to make it easy to figure the mechanisms out, but that is immediately what I look for when I watch videos like this one.

  12. Thanks for the explanation JP – I’ll go read the studies that are available. One thing that came to mind with me is that if I could afford 15 servings of veggies and fruit on a daily basis, then life can’t be that bad. I imagine they control for this type of thing, but still… Also, maybe it’s just me, but my food choices do not reflect a gentle slope of feeling worse or feeling better. All we have in the house is wfpb, so feeling crappy or not, wf it is. If I truly get mired with depression or anxiety, I’ll be the one sitting in the corner with the gallon ice cream bucket.

  13. maybe it’s just me, but my food choices do not reflect a gentle slope of feeling worse or feeling better.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————-
    I think it’s me as well. That is, I can’t remember anytime I’ve stopped to consider if I am happy or sad. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME!! slfff

  14. well Lonie, I hope you are doing ok! You mentioned that you have had quite an eventful past week or two, so maybe checking in on how you’re feeling might be a reasonable thing to do. This last week was a struggle for me with surgery on wed. and emerg services this morning, but it’s fine now. Y R probably has an explanation with some planet in retrograde, but in the meantime we’ll eat our veggies, drink our green tea and hope for the best!

    1. This last week was a struggle for me with surgery on wed. and emerg services this morning, but it’s fine now.
      ———————————————————————————————————————————————
      Just doesn’t seem fair that your week has gone slightly awry (but it’s fine now?) and mine has gone so well.

      We had the funeral today and I got to see a lot of people to hug and laugh with and rehash old memories.

      Even the pastor said we weren’t there to mourn but to celebrate my sister’s ascension to heaven (His words, not mine.)

      Oh, I did have one downer… that is, my main water pipe separated and couldn’t simply be glued back together, so I left the funeral without going to the gravesite in order to get back to my home town before the hardware store closed (just made it) and buy the parts to fix the problem.

      But that’s for tomorrow. I’ve got plenty of bottled distilled and RO water to take care of my needs, so no hurry.

      Oh, and a word to the wise… do not go back for seconds or thirds on the cantaloupe, cole slaw, and potato salad at the before-funeral meal. I was quite tite and rigid waiting for the service to be over so I could head for the head and disperse some Volatile Organic Compounds. ‘-)

      1. Awww, Lonie, I am so sorry to hear about your sister’s passing.

        Sorry, also to hear about your water pipe separating. Too bad that you didn’t get to go through the whole funeral process.

        You not having feelings yet is very common.

        I remember my mother’s funeral, I didn’t cry, I think at all, but my brother cried his eyes out. It is long enough after that now I can almost cry just saying it. I hate that the most precious people often die young.

        My father couldn’t turn the lights off for weeks. He became suddenly afraid of the dark.

        I felt that way after my grandmother died.

        I am a person of faith and I am also someone who can become highly emotional, but death often shuts me down.

        1. We always have had after-funeral meals. One of the last ones though was tragic. The older people who always made the food all have died and so had the mother of a group of 20-year-olds and their father checked himself in someplace and couldn’t handle going to the funeral, so the kids did Dunkin Donuts coffee and donuts. Maybe something else. Nobody of the asking for help generation was alive anymore and it was so odd because the oldest person in the receiving line was early 20’s. It was genuinely tragic and it was where I could really see that the 90-year-olds and 50-year olds and 60-year olds were all dying together and each of those 90-year-olds are glue and when they die, the family scatters.

        2. Lonie,

          I am going to be praying for you and, yes, I know those can either be comforting words or fighting words nowadays.

          Death of a loved one and facing our own death is maybe when we do contemplate other things.

          I am not going to give you a spiel. I am going to genuinely care and pray for you.

          1. I didn’t say it, but my dog died.

            He came over for some affection and then walked over to get something to drink and then slumped to the floor.

            The vet said that he thinks he bled out and that they pass out within a minute and then pass.

            I am okay.

            I decided that I needed to do something positive immediately after his passing and that is why I joined the gym and
            I am ordering my new flooring, which I postponed until after his passing.

            Cremation of a large dog is $700, which took me by surprise, but God gave me a house and even with my broken brain, I have been able to do almost all of the renovation without going into debt. I have enough money in my savings to pay for the floor and I will also get 6 months zero percent interest, which I won’t probably use.

            After this, I have kitchen cabinets and countertops and that is where I start to really run out of money, but all these credit card companies keep offering me their 18 months no interest cards and I am tempted. I don’t like debt and don’t have any, but don’t have a lot of margin after all the renovations. I feel like God provided. The house had illegal electricity and illegal plumbing and the windows were falling down or wouldn’t open and the screen doors would randomly lock me in and the basement was flooding and the roof had zero support beams and it needed new siding and the bathroom floor under the tiles was spongy and it had 1970’s faux wood paneling of various colors in every room and those covered alternating layers of paint and wallpaper, which made stripping the wallpaper a ridiculous process. It needed a new driveway and a new patio and new air conditioning and all of the appliances died at the beginning of the renovation process and the laundry had to be moved upstairs because I was so allergic to the moldy cellar. Oh yeah, and I had to cut down 9 trees, a few of which were so close to the power lines that an electrician told me that my house was going to explode. Plus, it had no overhead lights at all. So it has been a ridiculous process.

            I have never done any of those processes before, but I really do feel like God knew how broken-minded and clueless I was and He sent angel carpenters and angel painters and angel landscapers and I am almost finished.

            I feel like I am not sure whether to get another zero interest credit card – using the logic that other people actually take out loans and I would be finished or whether to wait another year or two for the kitchen.

            I used to test perfect for logic, but now I have learned that logic changes when the culture changes, even if it shouldn’t.

            1. Sorry for rambling.

              I am still not sleeping and I end up talking my way through life. I am back to days without sleep.

              I don’t know if it is because my dog died or too much on my mind.

              1. Deb, I join in with Hal and all the other regulars too in saying how very sorry I am to hear your dog passed away. He sure had a good friend in you Deb – you were both fortunate to have found each other. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day. Hugs. Barb

              2. I am back to days without sleep.

                I don’t know if it is because my dog died or *too much on my mind.*
                ——————————————————————————-
                Repeat after me while in the Lotus position… Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
                (Or find some Tibetan Ohm chants on the Internet and let the Tibetans ohm for you. ‘-)

            2. Deb, So sorry to hear that your dog passed away. A lot of us who read the comments section here have been following your story for the last year or so. It’s miraculous that with your expertise and perseverance, that he lived so much longer than the vet predicted. You are to be commended for that. You have my sympathies in your time of grief. Hal

            3. I didn’t say it, but my dog died.

              He came over for some affection and then walked over to get something to drink and then slumped to the floor.

              The vet said that he thinks he bled out and that they pass out within a minute and then pass.
              ———————————————————————————————————————–
              Deb, sorry about the passing of the dog but even though you paid a lot to keep it alive in the beginning, in the end the dog the dog taught you so much about living… that is, to save the dog you did untold research that will translate into extending your own life.

              Also, thanks for not posting the dog’s name (if it had one.) Had we known the dog’s name we as readers would have become more attached to it and would transfer sadness upon ourselves due to a named entity we had become familiar with, dying… and this in a Happiness video. ‘-)

              1. Lonie, he is not an “it.” I find it disrespectful to name him like an object especially considering Deb used the term he so you know he’s a male and don’t have to replace it with “it” due to not knowing.

                Sadness is a part of life and incredibly beautiful and builds character among other things. I don’t need to know someone’s name to feel sad for their suffering or passing and I’m ok with with feeling sad for someone. I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but I just wanted to point out that you don’t speak for everyone in that statement.

                1. I don’t need to know someone’s name to feel sad for their suffering or passing and I’m ok with with feeling sad for someone. I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but I just wanted to point out that you don’t speak for everyone in that statement.
                  —————————————————————————————————————————————
                  S, I don’t have the reference but I do remember reading that naming an animal helps create an attachment to it. (Was trying to be politically correct by calling it an it. ‘-)

                  And of course everyone posting is feeling sad for Deb, but the dog… we don’t even know what breed, how big, short hair, long hair. We could conjure up any dog image and maybe it’s one we don’t like so feel nothing for the dog’s passing.

                  On the other hand, in my family there was a family dog named Ol’ Blue, (before my time) and another one named Rusty… and in my oldest brother’s family one named Dixie… and one in my sister’s family named Misha. These dogs have names and are often mentioned or seen in pictures, in times of remembrance.

                  I get your attachment to animals, so I take no offense to your mild rebuke.

                  1. Lol, Lonie, then you could say the same thing about a human animal… “I named my boy so I could become more attached!” sounds funny to me. Lol at the political correctness bit.

                    “And of course everyone posting is feeling sad for Deb, but the dog… we don’t even know what breed, how big, short hair, long hair. We could conjure up any dog image and maybe it’s one we don’t like so feel nothing for the dog’s passing.”

                    That is a very misinformed perception based on your own way of viewing things and rooted in speciesism. The dog is an innocent animal, an angel like all nonhuman animals and innocent beings. Cat, dog, bear, white child, black child, etc…. I don’t need an image in order to feel compassion and empathy. I love this dog and every dog and every animal and every innocent little baby and you get the point, I don’t need to know them to know that. Many humans feel at least equal concern for the animals and I say at least because many of us tend to be especially concerned with the most innocent and vulnerable which is the same reason (or at least one of them) people have a special place in their hearts for children.

                    It’s not an attachment to animals it’s basic consideration, compassion, empathy and love.

            4. Deb, sorry about your dog dying. You did all you could rather than just give up on him. When my cats have to be put down it is like losing a family member. And the worst part of it is I had to make that decision. Not that I would allow them to suffer.

            5. Deb, I am so sorry to hear that your dog had passed away! It sounds like he (I think you said he was a male) left this earth peacefully and I’m grateful that he lived with someone who loves him so much. You’ll see him again <3 Glad to hear you're doing good.

          2. I am going to be praying for you and, yes, I know those can either be comforting words or fighting words nowadays.
            ———————————————————————————————————————————————————–
            Deb, have you heard of Quantum Entanglement? As I’ve said before I am an Agnostic (requires proof) and I believe Quantum Entanglement is a possible proof that prayer from one person can affect another person at even great distances.

            So yes, prayers are appreciated. (Oh, BUT… be careful what you pray for me… O.K!!?? ‘-)

        1. So sorry to hear about your sister, Lonie
          ———————————————————-
          Thank you S. Just talked to her daughter, my niece, by phone and we have agreed to talk more often, so other than my sister having her death wish fulfilled, this is another good outcome.

          Each time we talk she thanks me profusely for visiting her mother as often as I have over the years. I keep trying to explain to her this was nothing more than payback for the wonderful way she paid attention to her (our) mother who I was charged with living with to keep her from burning down the kitchen again. ‘-)

  15. Sounds like a nice bunch of people gathered to be with you and your family Lonie. That’s so lovely. Too bad about the plumbing interuption but that’s the way it goes, and you are fortunate to have the skills to fix it !

    Yeah, I am fine, and had another doc congratulating me for my good health lol. She had an incredulous look on her face as she read out my ‘stats’, and said “you’re fine, keep up the good work!” which was reassuring.

    1. She had an incredulous look on her face as she read out my ‘stats’, and said “you’re fine, keep up the good work!” which was reassuring.
      ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
      Heh, yeah Barb, those are the good medicos. It’s the ones that want to doctor you that we need to watch out for. ‘-{

    1. Okay, I just got down to the part where the doc was congratulating you for your good health.

      That is good news.

      I think I am finally losing weight, maybe, is my good news-ish.

      I have to lose at least 8 pounds before I will know for sure. Stupid scale.

      I have started walking on a treadmill and think that will put me over the edge where I can lose it more than 10 pounds in a year and a half.

  16. Hello everybody.

    I just found a study that claims low LDL cholesterol (sub 70), in other words the level we’re shooting at when following a wfpb could result in Higher Hemorrhagic Stroke Risk.

    Results from a large, prospective longitudinal study show individuals with LDL below 70 mg/dL had a 65% increased likelihood of ICH over 9 years.

    If true, this could be inconvenient for us, lowering risk of atheriosclerosis but raising risk of ICH. Any comments here? May dr. G can adress this somewhere. Please pass it on moderators.

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/915359

  17. Dr. Greger, could you please get a professional voice over person, maybe a celebrity like… Charlize Theron… I like her!
    Also, it’s really difficult for me to read the transcript because I dislike the font and I feel it would be more professional if your transcripts were written in a nice cambria or maybe even something like papyrus… that could be fun.
    Also, would you consider speaking with a British accent? I really think it would be a lot more pleasant when watching your live Q&A’s—people love a British accent.
    Also, I think you should get a blue backdrop on your website, sometimes I don’t even recommend people to your website because I feel like they won’t like the gray so if you got something like a blue, maybe a soothing periwinkle, I feel like that would be a lot more professional and make it much easier to pay attention to all the scientific data you freely present to us.
    I know you’re really busy and your work is a huge and growing success, but I think you need me, one person out of thousands of your audience, to suggest all this to you based on my personal preferences.

    There’s just been a few suggestions lately under some of the newer videos, I thought I would join in.

  18. For my own self it’s the b vitamins that make me happier. Fruits and veges are healthy but they don’t have the energy sustaining ability like grains, legumes. And there is nothing like a little chocolate and nuts for a treat or bread, almond peanut butter, honey and cocoa powder.

    1. CP, That probably makes sense. B Vitamins, like folate and B12, affect mood and would lower your Homocysteine.

      There are B Vitamins in Vegetables.

      Dark, leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale) Fruits (citrus fruits, avocados, bananas)

      A cup of Spinach is 2/3 of a day’s serving of Folate.
      Add a few spears of Asparagus and you will have made the whole day’s value

      If you don’t like those, there are others like Brussel Sprouts, Lettuce, avocado, mustard greens, peas, etc.

      For Thiamin, it is a little harder. Split peas give 30% and there is some in Jerusalem artichokes, lima beans, iceberg lettuce, spinach, and beet greens

      For Riboflavin, we are back at that cup of spinach, but mushrooms, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and potatoes have some, too.

      A baked potato is about 20% of the RDA in Niacin, with some in peas, sweet potatoes, asparagus, corn, and artichokes.

      A cup of either potatoes or winter squash provides about 30% B6, and spinach would be another vegetable with it in.

      Avocado and cauliflower provide Biotin

      A cup of broccoli supplies 20 percent of the RDA of B5, with some in Avocados, sweet potatoes and mushrooms

      I am just trying to point out that there are B Vitamins in Fruits and Vegetables and the fact that the results came at higher levels of intake, I would suggest that B Vitamins would be part of the effect.

        1. The nut study was:
          – supported by the walnut industry
          – only positive after pretty bad p-hacking (only in males and p-value only marginally under 5%…)

          I wouldn’t refer to that study, it’s very low quality.

  19. Keto Pure Diet, LOL I can’t believe what you wrote! OMG Telling Dr. Gregor to hire Charlene, which BTW, doesn’t have a British accent, change his font? Get a Proffessional to write his script? I actually watch his videos for information and find them enlightening and educational. When I want entertainment, I flip on the television or Youtube channel. I would encourage him to keep it up, do more videos, and encourage you to eat more “ Happy Fruits”.

    1. Keto Pure Diet, LOL I can’t believe what you wrote!
      ———————————————————————–
      Steven, KPD was just quoting some of what S wrote (with tongue firmly planted in cheek ‘-)

  20. this idea brings to mind my experience about 30 years ago when I started taking amla on a daily basis for 2-3 of months. It was made by TM/Maharishi group. The fact that I was taking the TM product probably meant I was eating ‘better’ [ more fruits and veggies and leaning towards a whole food/plant based diet] at the time. I noted one day to a friend that I felt it.., the amla.., was my ‘smile medicine’. I really noted I was naturally smiling more often!
    The product was expensive, and I was apt to take it less often than directed, though I am sure I took it daily. And as I note.., I was likely eating more fruits and veggies and a cleaner diet at the time. Presently, I do make sure to include 5-7 or more servings.But I was also apt to be eating less sugar and white flour then.
    I’ve often thought it would be good to get back to.

    1. Yeah, products really are expensive and I do the take things less often process quite a bit.

      I bought Amla and lab-tested Triphala, but I was using them on my dog, who had cancer, and never had the courage to try either of them.

  21. On a different note.

    I really liked the new DVD on fasting and IF.
    Didn’t expect it to go against the grain on all these subjects. I like it.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell there was no mention of a practice which is often used in the fitness world during diets/fasts to counteract or prevent the metabolic priming that normally accompanies diets/fasts and which consists off adding a one or two “refeeding” day(s) where people consume a slightly surpluss energy intake (a +25% DRI calories). Supposedly thus to offset the metabolic slowing down.

    Will this be adressed in the book? Or did I miss it in the videos somehow?

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