Five portions of fruit and veg for a better mood

It’s pretty much accepted that your physical health gets a boost when you regularly eat fruit and vegetables. Five portions a day is what most recommend.

According to new research conducted by Warwick University in the UK, though, eating proper amounts of fruit and vegetables may also be linked to better mental health.

In their study, more than a third of people with good mental wellbeing ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, compared with only 6.8 per cent who ate less than one portion. The researchers define good mental wellbeing as having high levels of optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships with others.

Thanks to David C for tipping me off about the Daily Mail‘s article reporting this:

And here’s a link to the original open access paper in the British Medical Journal:

Of course, as with any study like this, it’s not always clear what is cause and effect. Was it the fruit and vegetable consumption that boosted people’s mental wellbeing, or were people with higher levels of wellbeing more inclined to eat healthily in the first place?

Perhaps that doesn’t matter too much. It’s pretty clear that the food you eat plays an important part in how your mind and body perform.

So if you want to avoid the blues, why not reach for the greens?

2 thoughts on “Five portions of fruit and veg for a better mood

  1. Yes, and conversely a diet full of sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed food is more likely to create a worse state of wellbeing, with a lack of essential nutrients getting round the body and especially to the brain where all those happy chemicals can be released. A good wholesome diet – fruit and veg, protein and good fat – combined with 20-30mins good exercise a day can work absolute wonders for a positive and optimistic mindset. The trick is to make a start and then the effort will ‘snowball’ as the feel-good factor increases.

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