We all know that eating fruits and vegetables makes our bodies healthier—but a new study suggests that feasting on plant foods improves our emotional health, too. Researchers at the University of Warwick in England and University of Queensland in Australia found that consuming a higher quantity of fruits and vegetables can significantly increase a person's happiness.
The results, which will soon be published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that each added portion of fruits and vegetables—up to 8 portions a day—boosts the subject's mood. According to Science Daily, this was one of the first major scientific studies that analyzed how fruits and vegetables can benefit psychological health, in addition to physical health.
"Eating fruit and vegetables apparently boosts our happiness far more quickly than it improves human health," says study author Andrew Oswald. Throughout the study, over 12,000 randomly selected people kept detailed food diaries and notes on general psychological health over the course of 2007, 2009, and 2013. The scientists found that eating these fresh foods correlated with improved happiness to a staggering degree. Results show that going from eating almost no fruits and vegetables per day to eight portions had a mood impact equivalent to someone moving from unemployment to employment.