New research finds that eating raw fruits and vegetables is directly linked to better mental health. The findings of this research suggest that people eating raw fruit and vegetables are at a lower risk of being depressed and are more likely to flourish and feel positive about their life.
Research is showing that the consumption of fruit and vegetables in their ‘unmodified’ state is more strongly associated with better mental health compared to cooked/canned/processed fruit and vegetables
Posted by Potentialz Unlimited – A Psychology Practice on Friday, 20 April 2018
According to this research, raw bananas and apples among other raw foods and vegetables were particularly beneficial, along with consumption of green salads containing cucumber, lettuce and spinach.
Having over 6 servings of raw fruit and vegetables daily was providing the maximum benefit to mental health.
In contrast, cooked, canned or processed fruits and vegetables did not yield similar benefits for mental health.
The research was led by Dr Tamlin Conner, who said:
“Our research has highlighted that the consumption of fruit and vegetables in their ‘unmodified’ state is more strongly associated with better mental health compared to cooked/canned/processed fruit and vegetables.”
The finding of the research suggest the following ten foods as best for mental health :
- dark leafy greens such as spinach
- citrus fruits
- fresh berries
The research findings are based on a survey of over 400 people in the US and New Zealand about their dietary habits and mental health.
The surveyed sample was made up of young people aged between 18 to 25, as they are typically at the highest risk for mental health problems.
In Dr Connor’s words:
“Controlling for the covariates, raw fruit and vegetable consumption predicted lower levels of mental illness symptomology, such as depression, and improved levels of psychological wellbeing including positive mood, life satisfaction and flourishing.
These mental health benefits were significantly reduced for cooked, canned, and processed fruits and vegetables.
This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health.”
The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology (Brookie et al., 2018).