I’m sure you’ve heard more than once that you should eat your vegetables. Yeah, yeah, we all know they’re full of vitamins and what not that do a body good. But I’ve tried cauliflower, and cauliflower and I have agreed to never cross paths again.
Still, there are tons of other great vegetables (high-five green beans, asparagus, Brussels sprouts!) worth eating because they’re not just good for your physical body—they’re also good for your mind. For you see, researchers have concluded that eating fruit and vegetables is associated with a greater flourishing in daily life.
“Our aim was to determine whether eating fruit and vegetables (FV) is associated with other markers of well-being beyond happiness and life satisfaction,” the researchers wrote in the study‘s abstract. “Towards this aim, we tested whether FV consumption is associated with greater eudaemonic well-being—a state of flourishing characterized by feelings of engagement, meaning, and purpose in life. We also tested associations with two eudaemonic behaviours—curiosity and creativity.”
The researchers had 405 young adults complete an Internet diary for 13 consecutive days, reporting on their consumption of fruit and vegetables and their eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, and creativity.
“Young adults who ate more FV reported higher average eudaemonic well-being, more intense feelings of curiosity, and greater creativity compared with young adults who ate less FV,” the researchers wrote. “On days when young adults ate more FV, they reported greater eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, and creativity compared with days when they ate less FV.”
Sure, the findings are correlational, the researchers said, but “this study provides the first evidence that FV consumption may be related to a broader range of well-being states that signal human flourishing in early adulthood.”
So, while spinach may not make you physically strong, it will at least help you be more creative, which is a strength in itself.