Fruits, veggies don’t keep you just healthy, they make you happy too

  • IANS, London
  • Updated: Jul 11, 2016 14:26 IST
Happiness increases incrementally for each extra daily portion of fruit and vegetables up to eight portions per day, finds a new study. (Shutterstock)

Other than cutting down the risk of cancer and heart attacks, including fruits and vegetables in your daily diet can also increase your levels of happiness, claim researchers.

“Eating fruit and vegetables apparently boosts our happiness far more quickly than it improves human health,” said Andrew Oswald, professor at the University of Warwick in London.

Read: Creative bliss: 8 steps for a healthier, happier life

The findings showed that happiness increased incrementally for each extra daily portion of fruit and vegetables up to eight portions per day.

People who changed from almost no fruit and vegetables to eight portions of a day showed an increase in life satisfaction.

Usually people’s motivation to eat healthy food is weakened by the fact that these were predictive of alterations in happiness and satisfaction later in life.

People who move from not eating fruits and vegetables at all to eight portions a day show an increase in life satisfaction, claim researchers. (Shutterstock)

“However, well-being improvements from increased consumption of fruit and vegetables are closer to immediate,” Oswald added.

Large positive psychological benefits were found within two years of an improved diet consisting of more fruit and vegetables, the researchers said.

“There is a psychological payoff now from fruit and vegetables — not just a lower health risk decades later,” noted Redzo Mujcic, researcher at University of Queensland in Australia.

Read: Want to live longer? Include whole grains in your daily diet

The results could be used by health professionals to persuade people to consume more fruit and vegetables, particularly in the developed world where the typical citizen eats an unhealthy diet, said the paper to be published in the American Journal of Public Health.

For the study, the team followed food diaries of 12,385 randomly selected people.

The authors adjusted the effects on incident changes in happiness and life satisfaction for people’s changing incomes and personal circumstances.

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