Fruit and veggies pave the road to happiness

October 20, 2014, University of Queensland
Fruit and veggies pave the road to happiness
Dr Mujcic's study suggests eating eight or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day can improve mental health

Fruit and vegetables have been identified as a vital key to mental well-being.

A University of Queensland study suggests eating eight or more portions of and a day not only leads to better physical but improves mental well-being.

The study, by health economics researcher Dr Redzo Mujcic from UQ's School of Pharmacy, involved more than 12,000 Australian adults.

Dr Mujcic found participants were at their happiest when they ate five portions of fruit and four portions of vegetables each day.

"The results showed that the optimal consumption bundle is around four serves of fruit and four serves of vegetables a day for most well-being measures, and that less than 25 per cent of Australian adults consume this quantity," he said.

Dr Mujcic said the study challenged healthy-eating guidelines promoted by many governments around the world.

"Many public health messages, such as the World Health Organization guidelines, promote the consumption of five serves of fruit and vegetables daily," he said.

"While the combined portion of eight or more may seem relatively high, the present findings are closely in line with recent studies from the UK and New Zealand.

"Our research indicates that current guidelines are in need of review."

The research found that well-being benefits derived from eating more fruit and vegetables were much higher for women than men, and that solely eating fruit had a greater impact on overall mental health than eating vegetables.

Dr Mujcic said he used data from the annual Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) Survey to answer the age-old questions – are fruit and vegetables good for us?  And, how much should we be eating?

"The data has been collected from the same set of individuals, aged between 15 and 93, over a two year period on their dietary and lifestyle choices, along with a number of mental and physical health measures," he said.

"With this data, we were able to use much richer statistical methods to answer these types of questions."

Study participants were asked to rate their level of happiness and record their daily consumption of .

Dr Mujcic said large-scale randomised control trials were needed to better inform existing public health messages and social policy.

One portion is the equivalent to one piece of fruit or vegetable the size of the palm of your hand.

Explore further: Five daily portions of fruit and vegetables may be enough to lower risk of death

More information: The research paper can be found here: mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/59149/ … MPRA_paper_59149.pdf

Related Stories

Five daily portions of fruit and vegetables may be enough to lower risk of death

July 30, 2014
These results conflict with a recent study published in BMJ's Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggesting that seven or more daily portions of fruits and vegetables were linked to lowest risk of death.

Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health

September 23, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health, new research suggests.

Seven+ daily portions of fruit and veg linked to lowest risk of death from all causes

March 31, 2014
Eating at least seven daily portions of fruit and vegetables may confer the best chance of staving off death from any cause, indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

7-a-day for happiness and mental health

October 9, 2012
Happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day, according to a new report.

Most kids eat fruit, veggies daily: CDC

July 16, 2014
(HealthDay)—More than three-quarters of U.S. children eat fruit on any given day, and nearly 92 percent dig into vegetables in a 24-hour period, a new U.S. health survey reveals.

Children not eating enough fruit and veg

July 17, 2014
Less than every fourth child in Europe have enough fruit and vegetables included in their daily diet, a study by Swedish researchers at Örebro University and Karolinska Institutet shows. The findings are a part of an EU-funded ...

Recommended for you

India launches 'Modicare', world's biggest health scheme

September 23, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the world's biggest health insurance scheme, promising free coverage for half a billion of India's poorest citizens ahead of national elections next year.

Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

September 21, 2018
Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year—more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

Patient-centered visual aid helps physicians discuss risks, treatments with parents

September 21, 2018
A series of illustrations and charts designed as decision aids for parents of children with minor head injuries helped them communicate with emergency medicine physicians and make informed decisions about their child's care, ...

Smart pills dumb down medical care, experts warn

September 21, 2018
Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the American Journal of Bioethics that cautions health care ...

Crunched for time? High-intensity exercise = same cell benefits in fewer minutes

September 20, 2018
A few minutes of high-intensity interval or sprinting exercise may be as effective as much longer exercise sessions in spurring beneficial improvements in mitochondrial function, according to new research. The small study ...

China's doctor shortage prompts rush for AI health care

September 20, 2018
Qu Jianguo, 64, had a futuristic medical visit in Shanghai as he put his wrist through an automated pulse-taking machine and received the result within two minutes on a mobile phone—without a doctor present.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.