How many portions of fruits and veggies do you consume per day? For me, personally, 2 portions of fruits and 3 portions of veggies, per day, is a satisfactory amount.
However, scientists discover a slightly different ratio between fruits and veggies to be optimal for highest levels of happiness.
The study, by health economics researcher Dr Redzo Mujcic from UQ’s School of Pharmacy, involved more than 12,000 Australian adults.
“The results showed that the optimal consumption bundle is around four serves of fruit and four serves of vegetables a day for most well-being measures, and that less than 25 per cent of Australian adults consume this quantity,” he said.
No wonder Australia is considered the happiest country in the world. Even though many factors play a role in this, taking the right amount of fruits and veggies on a daily basis can, in theory, restructure the complete emotional imprint of a country in the long term.
Study participants were asked to rate their level of happiness and record their daily consumption of fruit and vegetables.
Dr Mujcic found participants were at their happiest when they ate five portions of fruit and four portions of vegetables each day.
The well-being benefits derived from eating more fruit and vegetables were much higher for women than men.
Another thing he discovered is that solely eating fruit had a greater impact on overall mental health than eating vegetables.
Dr Mujcic said the study challenged healthy-eating guidelines promoted by many governments around the world.
“Many public health messages, such as the World Health Organization guidelines, promote the consumption of five serves of fruit and vegetables daily,” he said.
“While the combined portion of eight or more may seem relatively high, the present findings are closely in line with recent studies from the UK and New Zealand.”
“Our research indicates that current guidelines are in need of review.”
The study suggests eating eight or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day not only leads to better physical health but improves mental well-being.
“The data has been collected from the same set of individuals, aged between 15 and 93, over a two year period on their dietary and lifestyle choices, along with a number of mental and physical health measures…” he said.
One portion is the equivalent to one piece of fruit or vegetable the size of the palm of your hand.
I will certainly try to increase the amount of fruits and veggies I consume on a daily basis by 1 so I’ll eat 3 portions of fruit and 4 portions of veggies, or the other way around.
Anyway, I think adding more fruits and veggies on your daily menu is not a bad idea.