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Raw fruit, vegetables good for mental health: study

Press Trust of India  |  Melbourne 

Eating raw fruits and vegetables may be better for your mental than cooked, canned and processed products, a study has found.

Public campaigns have historically focused on aspects of quantity for the consumption of fruit and vegetables.

However, the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, found that for mental in particular, it may also be important to consider the way in which produce was prepared and consumed.

"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," said Tamlin Conner, Psychology Senior at in

Conner believes this could be because the and processing of fruit and vegetables has the potential to diminish nutrient levels.

"This likely limits the delivery of nutrients that are essential for optimal emotional functioning," said Conner.

For the study, over 400 young adults from and the US aged 18 to 25 were surveyed. This age group was chosen as young adults typically have the lowest fruit and consumption of all age groups and are at high risk for

The group's typical consumption of raw versus cooked and processed fruits and vegetables were assessed, alongside their negative and positive mental health, and lifestyle and demographic variables that could affect the association between fruit and intake and mental health (such as exercise, sleep, unhealthy diet, chronic health conditions, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and gender).

"Controlling for the covariates, raw fruit and consumption predicted lower levels of symptomology, such as depression, and improved levels of psychological wellbeing including positive mood, life satisfaction and flourishing," said Conner.

"These mental health benefits were significantly reduced for cooked, canned, and processed fruits and vegetables," she said.

"This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health," Conner added.

The top 10 raw foods related to better mental health were: carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens such as spinach, grapefruit, lettuce, citrus fruits, fresh berries, cucumber, and kiwifruit.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 17 2018. 17:35 IST
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