Life got you down? Eat more fruit! Yes, it turns out that eating more fruit and vegetables is correlated with greater happiness.
An October 2014 study from Australia’s University of Queensland measured subjective levels of life satisfaction, mental health, psychological distress, and vitality. They found that fruit and vegetable consumption positively influences a whole range of mental and physical well-being measures, with the optimal dose being at least five servings of fruit and 4-5 servings of vegetables per day.
We at The FruitGuys have always known that people who eat fruit are happier than those who don’t, so the study came as no surprise to us. In fact, for life-satisfaction purposes, the study said eating a lot of fruit was even more potent than eating your required number of veggies.
It should be noted though that this was an observational study, which means it can’t prove cause and effect. People who eat lots of fruit and vegetables often also take care of themselves in other ways, like getting enough physical activity each day.
But we can think of plenty of reasons why fruit fans might be happier than those who shun produce. Maybe they have more radiant skin brought about by the phytochemicals in brightly colored fruits and veggies? Numerous studies have shown that these phytochemicals can provide sun protection for your skin.
Or maybe they don’t have to struggle as hard to control their weight. Fruit and veggies are generally low in calories, and they are filled with fiber and water, which fill you up. If you swap out high-calorie sugar-filled treats like cake and ice cream for sweet, seasonal fruits, it’s easier to maintain your weight.
Being healthy definitely makes people happier than having a chronic illness. Eating fruit and vegetables reduces the risk for several kinds of cancer, as well as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Of course, maybe the reason for people’s increased well-being when they eat more fruit and vegetables is a lot simpler than all this. Fruit is delicious, and eating it can bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Miriam Wolf is the editor of The FruitGuys Almanac Newsletter. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and is an avid runner, biker, and produce fanatic.