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New research indicates fruits and vegetables may improve your mood.
Nashville, Ark. – Fruits and vegetables have been recommended for cancer and disease
prevention qualities. There are plenty of studies to support these claims. Now new
research also indicates that these colorful gems may improve your mood. Who would
not want to be in a better mood during this stressful time?
Researcher evaluating data from over 40,000 people discovered that increased
intake of fruit and vegetables was linked to changes in mental health. In this study
the researchers tracked the same individuals over time.
Data from the study showed a positive association between the amount of
fruit and vegetables eaten and the person’s self-reported mental health. What the
researchers found was that consuming just one extra serving of fruit and vegetables
daily could have the same effect on mental health as walking 8 extra days per month.
The results of the studies indicate that people who consume more produce
indicate a higher level of psychological well-being and satisfaction with life than
those who consume less. One researcher noted, “There appears to be accumulating evidence
for the psychological benefits of fruits and vegetables. Despite this, the data shows
the vast majority of people in the US still consume less than the recommended amounts.
So then how much fruit and vegetables do we need and what would count
as an “extra” serving? According to MyPlate.gov the average adult needs to get the
preverbal “five a day”. In general adults need at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups
of vegetables or more a day. It all depends on gender, age, and activity level. You
can go to MyPlate.gov to find out your serving needs.
What counts as a serving of fruit or vegetable? In general, 1 cup of fruit,
1 medium-sized fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit can be considered
as 1 cup from the Fruit Group. 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice,
or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as 1 cup from the Vegetable Group.
One way to help you visualize how much fruit and vegetables you need is
to make half of your plate from these two food groups. For example, when you sit down
to lunch or dinner, look at your plate before you start eating. If you divided the
plate in half would it be filled with fruits and vegetables? If not, strive to meet
It is challenging to get a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables
during the day. Here are some tips to boost your intake.
Locally grown, fruits and vegetables are starting to show up at the Farmers Market
and gardens. Soon, they will be available in the grocery stores. Why not pick up some
today and support our local farmers and improve your mood during Covid-19?
For more information on eating healthy contact the Howard County Extension Service
at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
You may also contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our webpage at www.uaex.uada.edu/howard. The Cooperative Extension Service
is part of the U of A Division of Agriculture.
This recipe was shared by Katherine C. and uses frozen vegetables. Katherine
submitted this recipe for the Howard County 4-H Dairy Foods Contest which was held
in April. 4-H members submitted their recipes along with pictures or videos of them
making the recipe. Check out the videos plus see what our 4-H members have been doing
during Covid-19 at https://www.facebook.com/Howard-County-4-H-233058435808/.
1 (12 oz.) pkg. steamable broccoli florets
1 (12 oz.) pkg. steamable riced cauliflower or cauliflower florets
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
¼ c. milk
½ c. sour cream
1 ½ c. shredded fiesta blend or cheddar cheese
¼ c. Italian style breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Cook broccoli and cauliflower in the microwave according to package instructions and
set aside. Place cream cheese and milk in microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1
minute or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended. Place vegetables
in a microwave safe bowl and toss together. Pour cream cheese mixture over the vegetables
and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Microwave for 2 minutes. Mix breadcrumbs and
parmesan cheese and sprinkle over vegetables. Garnish with chopped green onion, if
desired. Makes 8-10 servings.
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.