Fruits and vegetables boost happiness

Research shows daily consumption may promote mental wellbeing in addition to physical health

News Desk October 22, 2014

Here’s one more reason for you to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Australian researchers have found that consuming large amounts of fruits and vegetables can make you happier. According to the study, not only do they elevate physical fitness, but also improve mental health, reported IANS.

The University of Queensland (UQ) study, involving more than 12,000 Australian adults, inferred that eating eight or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day improves mental wellbeing. Dr Redzo Mujcic, a health economics researcher from UQ’s School of Pharmacy said, “What I wanted to look at is whether it improves our mental health as well as physical health.”

For the research, Mujcic examined people’s choices of fruits and vegetables in congruence with their levels of satisfaction, stress and vitality, among other mental health indicators. “The methods I employed are a lot richer than just observing people at one point in time because we observed them over multiple periods. But still, the causal effect is very difficult to get at,” he added, reported ABC News.

The research, titled Are fruit and vegetables good for our mental and physical health? Panel data evidence from Australia, read “The estimation results indicate fruit and vegetable consumption positively and independently influences a wide range of self-reported mental and physical wellbeing measures.” Mujcic said the study showed that the effects were the strongest among women.

“The more [fruits and vegetables] you eat, the better… Eating about five fruits and five vegetables per day makes us the happiest we can be in that case,” added Mujcic. He shared that wellbeing levelled out among people who consumed more than the said amount, but that less than 10 per cent of those studied were eating the maximum 10 portions per day.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2014.

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