We’ve all heard about the five-a-day mantra for keeping our bodies healthy. Well, now new research claims that eating more fruit and veg is good for your psychological health too.
In a study involving 12,000 people from 2007 to 2013, scientists at the University of Warwick and the University of Queensland, Australia asked participants to keep a food diary. Their psychological wellbeing was measured too.
The researchers discovered that people’s happiness levels increased within two years of eating more fruit and veg (up to eight portions a day). They said this represented “an increase in life satisfaction equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment”.
Happiness increased incrementally the more fruit and vegetables a person consumed. While healthy eating has proven to boost physical health years down the line, the impact on psychological health and happiness could be enjoyed much sooner.
Dr Redzo Mujcic, research fellow at the University of Queensland, added: “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.”