Why Eating Raw Fruits And Vegetables Boosts Your Mental Health

Mental health is a concern for people around the world. With increasing stress and a fast-paced lifestyle, there has been significant deterioration in people’s mental condition.

In fact, there has been a 13 percent rise in mental health related issues since 2017, as compared to the last decade. Hi viewers and welcome back to Bestie! Mental health is often attributed to factors like genetics and trauma. While being happy and positive are the two major factors that lead to mental well-being, food plays an equally important role. What we eat is always said to have a direct link to our mind and body.

New research is showing that eating raw food, in particular fresh fruits and vegetables may help improve mental condition. It can reduce the likelihood of depression as well as your overall psychological well-being. And in today’s video, we will tell you how raw fruits and vegetables can impact your mental health and the best ones for it. Watch till the end to learn about all of them. First, let’s talk about the study which led researchers to this connection.  A new study found that people who ate more uncooked produce had lower levels of symptoms related to depression and other mental illnesses, compared to those who ate more

  • cooked,
  • canned,
  • processed varieties.

The study was only able to show an association between raw produce and better mental health, not a cause-and-effect relationship. But researchers say the link could have to do with the fact that many fruits and vegetables have more nutrients in their natural state.  And that those nutrients may have a positive impact on mood and brain chemistry. For the study, researchers surveyed more than 1100 young adults, aged 18 to 25, in the United States and New Zealand. People in this age group tend to eat a relatively low level of fruits and vegetables, and are also at high risk for mental health disorders. The participants were asked about their typical consumption of fruits and vegetables, including which specific varieties they ate and how the produce was prepared.

They were also screened for symptoms of mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety. The study authors knew that plenty of other variables could influence both mental health and fruit and vegetable consumption. So they also made sure to consider participants’ exercise habits, overall diet, existing health conditions, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and gender. Even after controlling for those lifestyle and demographic factors, the association between raw vegetables and positive mental health outcomes was significant.

It was found that people who ate 5 servings of raw fruits and vegetables per day had better mental health.  But the ones who ate less than 2 servings and more than 8 servings had opposite reactions.

Raw fruit and vegetable consumption

Raw fruit and vegetable consumption predicted lower levels of depression and improved levels of psychological well-being. It also led to positive mood, life satisfaction, and flourishing. By contrast, intake of fruit and vegetables that were processed by cooking, canning, or other methods was associated only with positive mood.  And not with any of the other mental health variables measured in the study.

Overall, the 10 foods in the study  that were most strongly associated  with positive mental-health outcomes were

  • carrots, 
  • bananas,
  • apples,
  • dark leafy greens like spinach,
  • grapefruit,
  • lettuce,
  • citrus fruit,
  • fresh berries,
  • cucumber,


In the raw vegetable category

  • celery
  • cabbage, 
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • mushrooms

The authors note that these veggies can be considered salad fixings, and they cite previous research linking salad consumption with lower stress levels.

In the processed produce category,

  • Pumpkin
  • mixed frozen vegetables
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • broccoli
  • eggplant

Were linked to positive mood, as well. What cooked food would be the most difficult for you to give up when trying switching to raw food? The researchers say their findings are important because most current health guidelines do not distinguish between raw and cooked or canned fruits and vegetables. So, how exactly does raw food impact mental health? Researchers believe that nutritional differences between raw and cooked produce may play a role.

Raw fruits and vegetables provide greater levels of micronutrients than processed ones. This could explain their stronger association with improved mental well-being. For compounds like vitamin C and carotenoids that have been linked to mental health cooking and canning would most likely lead to degradation in nutrients. This would limit their beneficial impact on mental health.

The importance of eating enough produce is immense, and involves both physical and emotional well-being. This is because certain nutrients are vulnerable to heat.  Although it’s not practical to eat all of your produce raw, there are specific cooking methods and prep techniques can also affect how well a food retains its nutrients.  For example, cutting up carrots after boiling instead of before can boost certain nutrients by 25%. Chopping carrots increases the surface area, so more of the nutrients leach out into the water while they are being cooked.  By cooking them whole, you lock in more. Eating vegetables with healthy fats, like avocado or extra virgin olive oil, also greatly increases the absorption of certain antioxidants. But the most important goal for upping your nutrient intake—and for supporting mental health while you’re at it—is to simply eat more vegetables each day. The typical Standard American diet contains many chemicals that although the FDA deems safe, may cause changes in brain chemistry. MSG, for example, is often noted to cause food cravings and changes in brain chemistry.

Many of these changes with various foods additives, preservatives, colors and flavorings can happen because they excite, or stimulate neurons in the brain. While the FDA deems these additives safe for general consumption, long term effects aren’t known. Now let’s look at a few types of raw diets: The first one is, well you guessed it – The Raw Food Diet. Also called raw foods or raw veganism, it is composed of mostly or completely raw and unprocessed food. Food is considered raw if it has never been heated over 104–118°F. It should not be refined, pasteurized, treated with pesticides or otherwise processed in any way.

Instead, the diet allows several alternative preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking and sprouting. Similar to veganism, the raw food diet is usually plant-based, being made up mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. While most raw food diets are completely plant-based, some people also eat raw eggs and dairy.  Less commonly, raw fish and meat as well. Additionally, taking supplements is typically discouraged on the raw food diet. It’s because the diet will give you all the nutrients you need. To follow the raw food diet, make sure at least 75% of the food you eat is raw.  Most raw food diets are made primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Grains and legumes are often permitted, but usually need to be soaked or sprouted before you eat them.

Foods you can eat include:

All fresh fruits, all raw vegetables,

  • Raw nuts and seeds,
  • Raw grains and legumes,
  • Sprouted or soaked,
  • Dried fruits
  • Meats
  • Nut milks

You may also eat raw nut butters, cold-pressed olive and coconut oils, fermented foods like kimchee and sauerkraut, Seaweed, Sprouts and raw eggs, meat, fish or dairy, if desired. Some of the foods to avoid are cooked fruits, vegetables, meats and grains, baked items, roasted nuts and seeds, refined oils and table salt.

Some other foods you should stay away from are refined sugars and flour, pasteurized juices and dairy, coffee and tea, alcohol, pasta, pastries, chips and other processed foods and snacks. Apart from giving you sound mental health, your diet is very important when you want to lose weight. To know which diet we are talking about, watch this video titled “The Military Diet Will Make You Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Days “Now back to why eating raw fruits and vegetables can boost your mental health. Another amazing raw food diet is the Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It’s generally accepted that the folks in these countries live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments.

The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat that’s high in produce, nuts and other healthy foods. The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. By following it, you can keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease. The foundation of this diet is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Meals are built around these plant-based foods. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are also central to the Mediterranean Diet, as is seafood.

In contrast, red meat is eaten only occasionally. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil. It also includes Daily consumption of vegetables,  fruits, whole grains and healthy fats Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs Moderate portions of dairy products Limited intake of red meat Other important elements of the Mediterranean  diet are sharing meals with family and friends,  enjoying a glass of red wine  and being physically active. While you can take care of your mental health by eating more raw fruits and vegetables,

it’s very important to recognize the signs of mental health issues as soon as they start. Learn more about these signs by: Learning about the Warning Signs You Are Emotionally and Mentally Exhausted Or Finding out about the Signs of Depression

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