A newly published study, conducted at the University of Warwick in Britain has unveiled, for the first time, the existence of a link between healthy eating and well-being.
In particular, the researchers found out that happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat 7 (or more) portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
The researchers studied the eating habits of 80,000 people in Britain; and found that well being appeared to rise with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables people consumed. And it peaked at seven portions a day.
The guidelines set out in many countries around the globe is for people to eat 5 portions a day of fruits and veggies. for cardiovascular health and as protection against cancer risk.
However, the reality of what the population eats is quite different. For instance, in Britain today, a quarter of the population eats just one portion or no portion of fruits and vegetables per day. Only a tenth of the British population currently consume the magic number of seven or more daily portions.
Study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at Warwick Medical School, said “The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers.”
She emphasized that much remained to be learned about cause-and-effect and about the possible mechanisms at work, and that randomized trials should now be considered.
Fellow co-author, economist Professor Andrew Oswald from the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, said: “This study has shown surprising results and I have decided it is prudent to eat more fruit and vegetables. I am keen to stay cheery.”
As human we are fueled by the food and liquid we consume; and as we always say: “We are what we eat”. But apparently there’s more to it than just being physically healthy.
The results of this study are suggestive, as they find an association between mental well being (aka happiness) and fruit-and-vegetable consumption.
We need high levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption also for mental health, not merely for physical health.
The researchers, of course, cautioned about the extent of their study and for the need of further trials, but the findings are, so far, pretty conclusive of the relationship exisitng between well-being and a correct diet.
The Iron You
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by the University of Warwick, via EurekAlert!