Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables could boost life satisfaction, mental well-being, and happiness, according to a new study from Warwick Medical School in the U.K.
For the study, researchers examined the eating habits of 80,000 British men and women, and compared fruit and vegetable intake to reported levels of life satisfaction, mental well-being, mental disorders, happiness, nervousness, and feeling low.
Researchers found a “remarkably robust” pattern, in which “happiness and mental health rise in an approximately dose-response way with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables.” Well-being appears to peak at seven servings per day.
But just how large is the effect? Pretty significant, it seems. Study researchers explained: “When comparing small and large levels of fruit and vegetable consumption per day, the effect corresponds to between 0.25 and 0.33 life-satisfaction points. To put that in perspective, the known (huge) effect of being unemployed corresponds to a loss of 0.90 of a life-satisfaction point.”
Although further study is needed (the research merely shows a link, not a cause and effect relationship), study co-author Professor Andrew Oswald is already convinced. Oswald noted: “This study has shown surprising results and I have decided it is prudent to eat more fruit and vegetables. I am keen to stay cheery.”
Ready to get a little happier and healthier? It’s easy to
There are plenty of delicious and convenient ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet! Check out Smoothies: The Perfect Fruit and Vegetable Delivery System, 35 Delicious Ways to Eat More Greens, and Raw Food Diet: More Than Just Rabbit Food! for great tips and inspiration.
Note: the study defines a serving as 80 grams, or about 2.8 ounces. This is equivalent to about a cup of chopped raw broccoli or a medium-large plum.
Image Credit: marcusjroberts/Flickr