You already know lots of good reasons to eat your fruits and vegetables—reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes, plus they’re full of vitamins, minerals and fiber to keep you energized. But here’s another one: Eating them might make you happier.
New research from the University of Warwick Medical School in England found a link between high mental well-being and greater consumption of fruit and vegetables.
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The numbers are dramatic: 33.5% of participants with high mental well-being reported eating 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables daily. For those who ate less than 1 serving, only 6.8% reported high mental well-being.
"Along with smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption was the health-related behavior most consistently associated with both low and high mental wellbeing,” Saverio Stranges, M.D., the research paper's lead author, told Science Daily. “These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role as a driver, not just of physical, but also of mental wellbeing in the general population."
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Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, co-author of the study, added: "Mental illness is hugely costly to both the individual and society, and mental wellbeing underpins many physical diseases, unhealthy lifestyles and social inequalities in health. It has become very important that we begin to research the factors that enable people to maintain a sense of wellbeing.”