A group of researchers from the University of Otago have recently come up with the conclusion that regular intake of raw fruits and vegetable is great for your mental health. Up till now, most healthy food consumption related campaigns and programs have stressed a lot on introducing more raw fruits and vegetables to your diet, but they do not clarify exactly what form of fruits and vegetables should you consume. This resulted in many people increasing their consumption of canned and processed vegetables and fruits since we thought that processed or not really did not matter.
However, the latest evidence shows that the way you prepare and eat fruits and vegetables has a major impact on your mental health. According to Otago’s researchers, when fruits and vegetables are consumed as nature intended for them to be consumed, they have promote better mental health as compared to fruits and vegetables that are “modified” before being consumed.
One reason why our fruit and vegetable consumption preference has an impact on our mental health can be that whenever they are “modified” (cooked, processed, canned etc.) they are robbed of essential nutrients that play a role in improving and maintaining our mental well-being. The study that was responsible for producing these results was conducted on a sample population that consisted of young adults from the United States of America and New Zealand. There were a total of 400 participants, all of whom were around 18 to 25 years old.
The reason why this study was conducted on younger individuals was because they consume the least amount of fruits and vegetables and are the most likely to suffer from poor mental health. The study revolved around assessing their fruit and vegetable consumption patterns, along with taking note of other variables that may have an impact on the quality of their mental health. These variables included their sleep patterns, gender, socioeconomic status, diet, and more.
What makes the findings of this research important is the fact that there has been a rise in poor mental health condition over the past few years, especially in the younger generation. Researchers hope that they can use this information to figure out how people can improve their mental well-being by making changes to their lifestyles. We already knew that your eating habits had an impact on your mental well-being, however, research like this has allowed us to explore the link between eating and mental health on a much deeper level.
We can hope that experts continue to delve deeper into this topic and find more ways of dealing with poor mental health conditions, and also spread awareness about how our lifestyle choices help in determining the quality of our mental states.
The research that was published also listed the top ten vegetables and fruits that were beneficial for one’s mental health, this list included bananas, citrus fruits, kiwifruit, carrots, spinach and other dark leafy greens, cucumbers, lettuce, berries, apples, and grapefruit.