Doubling your daily fruit and veg portions to 10-a-day can have amazing benefits for your mental health, according to new research
We’re all familiar with the ‘5-a-day’ message, but did you know that upping fruit and veg to 10 portions a day could have a massive impact on your mood?
A recent study from the University of Leeds suggests that doubling your daily servings can result in happy feelings equivalent to being offered a job when you’re unemployed!
‘Our findings provide further evidence that persuading people to consume more fruit and vegetables may not only benefit their physical health in the long run, but also their mental wellbeing in the short run,’ the authors wrote in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Scientists examined data on 50,000 people, comparing their diet with their mental health. They looked at the UK Household Longitudinal Survey to find out people’s levels of fruit and veg consumption, and then compared it with their scores for mental health.
How much is a ‘portion’ of fruit or vegetables?
A portion is defined as a piece of fruit, a cup (or fist-sized amount) of raw veg or half a cup of cooked veg.
The study also found that the opposite effect was true – cutting down from eating lots of fresh produce down by five portions per day caused the same upset as being diagnosed with a chronic condition.
If 10 portions is a step too far, just add one extra portion – they found the mental health benefits were the same as walking for an extra 10 minutes per day over four weeks. Meanwhile, going from no fruit or veg a day to four, five or six portions can boost your life satisfaction by the same amount as getting married.