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Research is giving new meaning to the saying that an apple a day will keep the doctor away.
Eating more fruits and vegetables can help improve your health psychologically as well as physically, according to a recently released study.
Specifically, researchers found that eating extra servings of fruits and vegetables can increase happiness, with more benefits detected for each extra serving up to eight servings per day.
According to the University of Warwick in England, the study is among “the first major scientific attempts to explore psychological well-being beyond the traditional finding that fruit and vegetables can reduce risk of cancer and heart attacks.”
The study was a collaboration with the University of Queensland in Australia and will be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
For the study, researchers analyzed multiple years of data on more than 12,000 Australian adults who kept food diaries and had their psychological well-being measured.
The researchers found substantial psychological benefits within two years of people improving their diets.
Co-author Andrew Oswald, professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Warwick, notes:
“Eating fruit and vegetables apparently boosts our happiness far more quickly than it improves human health.”
Researchers also estimated that people whose consumption of fruits and vegetables increased from almost none to eight servings per day would experience an increase in life satisfaction that’s equivalent to what a person would experience by going from being unemployed to becoming employed.
As the authors write in a version of the study posted on Oswald’s website:
These findings are consistent with the idea that eating certain foods is a form of investment in future happiness and well-being.
Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables counted toward the participants’ daily servings.
What’s your take on this finding? Will you eat more fruits and vegetables because of it? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.