Increasing one’s happiness is as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables, according to researchers from the University of Warwick in England and the University of Queensland in Australia. They say that eating up to eight portions per day of these food items every day can substantially increase your happiness levels equal to the feeling you have after landing a job.
The findings, to be published in the American Journal of Public Health, also state that the improvement can happen within 24 months. The study involved assessing over 12,000 randomly selected Australians. The participants’ incomes and lifestyles have all been taken into account.
The participants wrote down what they ate on their diaries as well as their psychological wellbeing. The researchers noticed that the diet rich in fruits and vegetables or eight portions of these foods each day caused people to experience positive psychological benefits in as little as two years, which they say is similar to the feeling a person gets when he moves from being unemployed to being employed.
“Eating fruits and vegetables apparently boosts our happiness far more quickly than it improves human health,” says researcher Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick. “People’s motivation to eat healthy food is weakened by the fact that physical health benefits, such as protecting against cancer, accrue decades later. However, improvement in wellbeing from increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is closer to immediate.”
The team speculates that the antioxidants found in these foods could have played a role in the positive results. However, they suggest that more studies should be conducted on this subject.
The findings could also be a good reason for people to start eating more fruits and vegetables. Apart from making a person healthier, health professionals should also start informing their patients that eating fruits can also make them happier.