Eat seven serves of fruit and vegetables to boost your mood

Kimberly Gillan
Thursday, October 11, 2012
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While many people believe we need to eat our "five a day", it now seems we need seven to eight serves of fruit and vegies to ward off obesity and maximize our health.

And it seems the extra natural foods not only helps our bodies but also our headspaces.

New Australian healthy eating guidelines will be released soon and according to Katherine Shone, an accredited practicing dietitian at Nutrition Australia, the draft proposal recommends men eat six serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day, while women eat five serves of vegies and two serves of fruit.

Great veggie recipes from Curtis Stone

This comes as researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK found that people who ate between seven and eight serves a day scored higher in a test of life satisfaction.

They studied 80,000 people who had answered surveys about their food consumption and their feelings. Those who ate plenty of fruit and vegies were found to be more optimistic and felt more loved than those who didn't eat any.

"Our findings are consistent with the need for high levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption for mental health and not merely for physical health," the authors wrote.

Shone told ninemsn the findings aren't surprising.

"Health is a holistic approach and if someone is eating well, they're feeling good and they're more likely to exercise and more likely to be within the healthy weight range and avoiding mineral deficiencies," she said.

"There are links with mineral deficiencies leading to increased risks of mental health and anxiety and poor mood as well."

The UK researchers believe the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and happiness could have to do with antioxidants reducing stress levels.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only nine percent of Australians eat five or more serves of vegetables and one or more serves of fruit each day.

Great veggie recipes from Curtis Stone

The study was published in the journal Social Indicators Research.

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