Posted on Nov 02, 2012, 6 a.m.
Economists and public health researchers report that happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
The fast pace of today’s 24/7 lifestyle leaves many people neglecting to follow the “Five a Day” recommendation by most developed nations that aim at improving cardiovascular health and reducing cancer risk. David G. Blanchflower, from the University of Warwick (United Kingdom), and colleagues completed a review of cross-sectional data involving 80,000 Britons who were measured by standardized assessments to ascertain life satisfaction, happiness, nervousness, etc., and surveyed for the daily portions of fruits and vegetables consumed. The researchers found that happiness and mental health rise in an approximately dose-response way with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables. The researchers find that “well-being peaks at approximately 7 portions per day,” thus leading them to submit that: “Our findings are consistent with the need for high levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption for mental health and not merely for physical health.”
David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald, Sarah Stewart-Brown. “Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?” Social Indicators Research, submitted October 2012.