More Produce Linked to Better Life Satisfaction Scores
This may be the most positive type of study to report on: Eating fruits and vegetables can make you happier! We’ve seen that fruits and vegetables are linked to higher mental well-being and that eating a plant-based diet may help lower risk of depression. Now, an Australian study published in the American Journal of Public Health finds eight servings of produce a day may offer a boost in life satisfaction.
For the study of more than 12,000 participants aged 15 to 93 years, researchers used questionnaires to determine average daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. Participants also rated their overall life satisfaction and happiness. Researchers kept track of participants for two years to monitor changes in diet and happiness.
The results are something to smile about. Analysis suggests people who change from eating almost no produce to eight portions a day will experience a 0.24 point increase in life satisfaction. This may not seem like much, but that’s the equivalent of someone moving from unemployment to employment. We know a healthy diet can affect your physical health down the line, and now it’s clear the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat today may predict your mental well-being in the future too.
Give thanks for fruits and vegetables this Thanksgiving and all year round by aiming for eight servings a day. Sounds like a lot, but it’s not hard to do—here’s a sample of what to include in your menu:
Add more produce to your Thanksgiving spread with our Cranberry Apple Stuffing made with celery, onions, and Granny Smith apples—a lightened-up version of a Thanksgiving favorite.
- Breakfast: One banana and eight strawberries
- Snack: One carrot and one celery stalk
- Lunch: Two cups salad greens with one cup raw vegetables
- Snack: Cup of grapes
- Dinner: One sweet potato and a cup of steamed broccoli
Published November 1, 2016