Adding more fruit and veg to your diet boosts your mood and emotional wellbeing as much as landing a new job, research suggests.
Researchers used survey results from UK families to estimate the link between how much fruit and vegetables people ate on a typical day, and their mental wellbeing. They found people reported feeling happier, more purposeful and less anxious when they ate more fruit and veg.
Researchers from the University of Leeds and the University of York built on previous research from Australia and New Zealand by using a much larger sample from the UK.
After controlling for confounding factors such as diet, health and lifestyle behaviours, the researchers found that there was a positive association between fruits and vegetable consumption and people’s self-reported mental wellbeing. The researchers found that consuming just one extra portion of fruit and vegetable a day contributed to better mental wellbeing which was equivalent to the effect of 8 extra days of walking a month ( for at least 10 minutes at a time). The study also found that an increase in wellbeing was dose responsive to both the number of fruits and vegetables consumed and the number of days in a given week an individual consumed fruits or vegetables.