Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is not only healthy for the body, but it also improves psychological well-being, says a new study. The researchers found that the level of happiness increased for each extra portion and peaked at eight a day.
The study included moe than 12,000 people. The participants who included more fruits and vegetables in their diet experienced an increase in life satisfaction that felt by moving from unemployment and landing a job.
‘Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day improved psychological well-being. The level of happiness increased for each extra serving.’
The study explored the psychological well-being beyond the other findings that fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Professor Andrew Oswald at Warwick University said, "Eating fruits and vegetables apparently boosts our happiness far more quickly than it improves human health. People's motivation to eat healthy food is weakened by the fact that physical health benefits, such as protecting against cancer, accrue decades later."
"However, well-being improvements from increased consumption of fruit and vegetables are closer to immediate."
The study followed 12,000 Australians who kept food diaries and had their psychological well-being measured. The findings showed large positive psychological benefits within two years of an improved diet.
Queensland's research fellow, Dr Redzo Mujcic, said, "Perhaps our results will be more effective than traditional messages in convincing people to have a healthy diet. There is a psychological payoff now from fruit and vegetables - not just a lower health risk decades later."
The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.