Raw Fruits and Vegetables Provide Better Mental Health Outcomes

According to a recent University of Otago study, eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state helps to improve brain function. The research, which was published in Frontiers in Psychology, indicated that eating these foods raw maintained more of their nutrients for overall health than eating them cooked or canned.

400 young individuals from the US and New Zealand, ranging in age from 18 to 25, took part in the study. This age group was chosen because, on average, they consume the least fruit and vegetables of any age group and because they are also more likely to suffer from mental health problems. It was evaluated if people typically ate fruits and vegetables raw, cooked, or canned. Researchers also took into account their good and bad mental health, as well as lifestyle and demographic factors that might have an impact on the relationship between vegetable and fruit intake, such as sleep, exercise, unhealthy diet, chronic health conditions, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.

In comparison to canned or cooked fruits and vegetables, raw fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with lower levels of mental disease symptomology, such as depression, and higher levels of psychological health, such as a good mood, flourishing in life, and satisfaction. The benefits to mental health that the researchers discovered were dramatically diminished when the fruits and vegetables were canned or cooked, showing that consuming them raw was preferable.

Bananas, apples, carrots, dark leafy greens, grapefruit, citrus fruits, lettuce, fresh berries, kiwi fruit, and cucumber were the top 10 raw foods associated with greater health. The research is increasingly useful since dietary modifications might offer a secure, practical, and adjuvant method of enhancing mental health.

A previous study by the University of Warwick's Medical School indicated that 33.5% of individuals with excellent mental health wellness consumed at least 5 servings daily of fruits and vegetables. In contrast, only 6.8% of people consumed less than one portion daily. Although this study did not specifically examine how fruits and vegetables were consumed (fresh versus cooked or canned), it does confirm the findings that it is important to eat at least five pieces of these nutrient-dense foods each day. The eating of fruits and vegetables, along with the absence of smoking, was discovered to be the health-related habit most consistently linked to both high and low mental well-being. Both studies indicate that eating fruits and vegetables may play a future role as a catalyst for greater mental and physical health.

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Online Treatment Programs

24 May, 2023

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