This year’s Turkey Day may look a little different. But I hope that you’re counting the same blessings that you do every year… and sharing it with the people you love, even if only from a safe social distance.
That said, I also understand if you’re feeling a little down today—maybe even dreading the holiday season ahead of us.
So let me offer an important reminder: Yes, it appears that happiness can make you healthier. But being healthy can make you happier, too—and taking just a few simple steps could help make this season a little merrier and brighter.
For a good mood, eat real food
It really is that simple. A group of Australian researchers recruited 76 students between 17 and 35 years old—all with moderate to severe depression, and all with diets heavy in processed food and sugar.
Subjects were split into two groups. One was given guidance on improving their diet, with a specific focus on fresh produce, olive oil, fish, and lean meat. (You might recognize this as the core of my own Mediterranean-style diet advice.)
The other group didn’t receive any dietary guidance. They were simply instructed to return after three weeks—at which point, researchers re-assessed participants’ depression, anxiety, and overall mood scores, as well as their cognitive performance.
And guess what? The subjects who changed their diet saw significant improvements in mood, depression, and anxiety scores—enough to bring them into the normal range! While those who made no dietary changes remained moderately to severely depressed.
Plus, follow-up analysis showed that the 20 percent of subjects who maintained their positive diet changes also maintained their mood improvements… illustrating yet another instance where consistency is key.
Now, let’s take a look at fresh produce, specifically…
Double down on veggies—but don’t go vegan
Upon studying the eating habits of more than 80,000 people, British researchers found that mental wellbeing peaks at seven servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
But don’t mistake this as a suggestion to go vegan. “Plant-based” diets may be all the rage nowadays—but the fact is, vegetarians are at greater risk of depression.
At least, that was the conclusion of a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) study of nearly 10,000 men. It showed that males who reported themselves as vegetarian or vegan placed significantly higher on depression scales than meat-eaters—with more of them scoring above 10, indicating mild to moderate depression.
Which isn’t surprising, from a nutritional point of view. After all, deficiencies in key nutrients such as iron, zinc, CLA, B12, folate, and essential fatty acids like omega-3s (all of which are found in meats) are all significant drivers of depression. And you risk becoming deficient in all of them with strict vegetarianism.
So, adopt a healthy, balanced diet—one that includes fresh produce and meat—like my A-List Diet. In fact, there’s no better day to enjoy a spread of fresh, whole foods than on Thanksgiving! So, why not make it a habit well into the New Year, too?
A little exercise goes a long way
Of course, I can’t finish this discussion without talking about exercise. But let me remind you just how easy it can be: Researchers in Canada conducted a systematic review of 30 different studies and found even a little bit of physical activity can cut risk of depression in people of any age.
The analysis looked at subjects from the age of 11 all the way up to 100 years old. And it showed that as little as 2.5 hours per week of low intensity movement like walking could ward off depression. (That’s as little as 20 minutes per day!)
Researchers used data from seven studies that measured amounts of weekly physical activity participation. And they found that exercising more than 150 minutes per week was associated with a 19 to 27 percent decreased risk of developing depression.
Plus, another study showed that more than 30 minutes of daily physical activity can reduce the odds of depression by as much as 48 percent.
But getting less than 150 minutes of physical activity per week was still linked to a decrease in depression risk—ranging from eight to 63 percent. (That’s compared to people who don’t get any exercise at all.)
I’d call that a pretty significant benefit for less than 20 minutes a day!
So, this holiday season, I hope you’ll take some time for yourself. Fill your plate with lean meats like turkey, and fresh produce, like green, leafy veggies. And take a nice, refreshing walk every morning before you start your day—or every evening, to end your day.
Use this time to clear your mind and reflect on all the things you’re grateful for. Your health and your mood will benefit, for years to come.
P.S. As promised, as a way of thanking you for your loyalty, please use this special free bottle VIP code on my NuLogic Nutritionals website: THANKS2020. After all, smart supplementation can help improve your wellbeing, too. So go ahead and treat yourself to your favorite formula! Happy Thanksgiving!