Eating Fruits and Vegetables Would Make Happier
The more we eat fruit and vegetables, the happier we are. For young people, the “well-being” argument could therefore be more convincing than the “health” argument.
This new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, is one of the first to explore the link between psychological well-being and consumption of fruits and vegetables. It confirmed a study dating from 2014 that had also linked fruit and vegetable consumption and personal satisfaction.
In this study, researchers at the University of Warwick randomly selected 12,385 Australians and Australians. These participants lived in regions of Australia promoting the consumption of 2 servings of fruit, and 5 servings of vegetables per day. Participants were asked to rate what they ate in food books; Their level of well-being was also measured. The follow-up was carried out from 2007 to 2013.
After considering many other factors that may affect welfare (income, social life, health, etc.), the researchers found a linear relationship between many portions of fruit and vegetables and well-being. However, consuming more than 8 fruits and vegetables per day did not bring any extra benefit. The researchers conclude that going from 0 to 8 fruits and vegetables per day improves well-being as well as finding a job!
As a reminder, fruits and vegetables, rich in fiber and polyphenols, are already known to be associated with a lower risk of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and stomach, and even a risk Lower allergy.
Only problem, according to Professor Andrew Oswald ” People who want to eat fruits and vegetables are often discouraged by the fact that cancers and cardiovascular diseases appear decades later. However, it is now known that eating fruits and vegetables can increase well-being almost instantaneously. “ It is therefore an additional argument that may encourage the French population,especially the younger ones, to consume more fruits and vegetables.
Indeed, it seems urgent to discover new levers to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables among young people, 20-30 years of today would eat 8 times less fruits and vegetables than their parents at the same age. A 20-year-old Frenchman would consume only about 150 grams of fruits and vegetables per day, which corresponds to about 2 servings. In addition, only 70% of these 150g are fresh fruits and vegetables, only 100g of fresh fruits and vegetables per day, that is little.
In addition, messages touting the benefits of fruit and vegetables on happiness may be more effective among younger people who are less sensitive to health messages. Because eating more fruits and vegetables is synonymous with spending more and cooking more, all for diseases that may affect them in 40 or even 60 years later. Many young people would prefer to do more sports rather than waste time and money to eat fruit and vegetables. Hopefully, this type of message would encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially since a small study has actually reported that children eating more fruits and vegetables are happier.
Correlation or causality?
This is an observational study, so it is not possible to deduce a causal link.However, the few studies that have studied the link between diet and well-being have similar conclusions.
Indeed, one study reported a strong association between optimism and blood levels of carotenoids. Carotenoids are pigments (yellow to orange) that are found extensively in fruits and vegetables.
In addition, one study reported that a population of vegetarians (Adventists) were very happy despite their low intakes of EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found mostly in fatty fish; They are known for their beneficial effects on mood.
Our opinion: Although this study is a study of observation, we can only advise to eat more fruits and vegetables. They should be chosen, preferably organic, not only for the mood, but also the status in fiber and vitamins and potassium, nutrients that are not yet sufficiently consumed. Positive effects on mood may be psychological mechanisms. But biology could play a role: some group B vitamins improve mood, and the intestinal flora could also be involved.