It turns out your parents were right to nag you about eating your greens.
Those who eat more fruit and vegetables benefit from a happiness boost comparable to getting married or being offered a new job, a study found.
Experts believe the vitamins in your five a day may ward off depression and anxiety, with the carbohydrates they contain increasing ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. Researchers from the universities of Leeds and York asked more than 45,000 people in-depth questions about life satisfaction – and found they were happier when consuming more fresh produce.
The researchers said getting people to eat better could be a ‘low-cost’ way to improve the nation’s mental health.
Respondents who did not eat vegetables during the week – and then started eating them four to six times a week – had the same rise in life satisfaction as a single person getting married. Equally, those who increased their intake of fruit and vegetables by 10.5 portions a day – from at least one portion a day – enjoyed the same wellbeing boost as if they were offered a new job. A portion equals a fistful of raw vegetables or a single piece of fruit.