Improving your outlook on life and boosting your mental health could be as easy as eating seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
While most western nutrition experts have long believed that five servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day can encourage optimal health, research now indicates that your overall sense of well-being peaks when you eat seven servings of produce daily.
British economists and health researchers at the University of Warwick studied the eating habits of 80,000 Brits and determined that mental well-being correlated directly to the amount of fruits and vegetables the participants consumed daily.
According to study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health at Warwick Medical School, “The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers.”
The researchers say there is still much to be learned about why more fruit and vegetable consumption can lift the spirits, but contend that the benefits are obvious for health as well as well-being.
Study co-author Andrew Oswald says, “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.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture designates serving sizes for most fruits and vegetables at one-half cup and greens like spinach at one cup. A single piece of fruit, like an apple or an orange, counts as one serving.