According to a new study from the University of Warwick happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
They studied the eating habits of 80,000 people in Britain and found mental wellbeing appeared to rise with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables people consumed.
The study does not distinguish among different kinds of fruits and vegetables and it defines a portion as approximately 80 grams. Wellbeing peaked at seven portions a day.
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The research was carried out in conjunction with Dartmouth College in the USA and is due to be published in the journal Social Indicators Research.
In Britain today, a quarter of the population eat just one portion or no portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Only a tenth of the British population currently consume the magic number of seven or more daily portions.
Study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at Warwick Medical School, said “The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers.”
Social Indicators Research. October 2012, ‘Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?’ by David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald, and Sarah Stewart-Brown