Raw Fruits & Vegetables May Boost Mental Health


Your mother always told you to eat your fruits and veggies and for good reason too. The benefits of such foods have been long recorded in the annals of medical history, yet eating them raw may be better for you than eating them from a can or after they have been cooked.

In a recent study conducted in the University of Otago, New Zealand, it was found that raw fruits and vegetables produced more benefits than cooked, processed, and canned versions, especially in regards to mental health


The New Zealand study, which was published in Frontiers In Psychology, showed that people who consumed significant amounts of raw vegetables and fruits tended to have much lower levels of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety disorders.

While researchers who conducted the study were quick to point out that the findings were not an absolute conclusion that raw fruits and vegetables automatically produced better mental health but the findings did, however, lead them to believe that higher amounts of micronutrients usually found in raw produce may give may have more of an impact on mental health than was formerly realized.

Ultimately, the researchers concluded that consuming more essential nutrients seemed to have a positive effect on the health of the body and mind, more so than other foods which did not contain higher levels of micronutrients.


The University of Otago study used 400 young adults whose ages ranged from 18 to 25 for their survey. This particular group was picked as this demographic often experiences more mental health issues and also eats less fresh produce than other demographic groups do.

As part of the study, each participant was asked to answer specific questions in regards to their eating habits and was also screened to assess their current mental state.

Most of the questions were related to the following:

Typical consumption of fruits and vegetables

Kinds of fruits and vegetables eaten

How the fruits and vegetables were eaten (ex. raw or cooked)

Other variables were also considered as part of the study to limit their influence on the findings. These included:





Socioeconomic State

Previous & Current Health Conditions

The 10 Positive Foods

According to the study, there were 10 major foods, when consumed in their natural state (raw), had a noticeable impact on better mental health. These foods were as follows:

Leafy Greens






Citrus Fruits



Wild Berries

Importance Of The Study

The researchers who conducted the study felt that their research could impact the world of health in a positive way as their findings might convince the medical community to start encouraging people to eat more raw fruits and vegetables instead of their cooked and processed versions.

While the study failed to answer the question of why raw fruits and vegetables tended to promote improved mental health, its findings did show a strong correlation between raw produce and its effects on the latter.

In the end, mother was probably right – we should eat our fruits and vegetables. Only this time we should eat them in their raw state to increase our chances of a clear, productive, and happy mind.


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