New research shows eating more fruit and vegetables could ease symptoms of depression and other mental illness, but it’s got to be raw. Experts say we should be focusing on the types of produce we eat instead of how much of it we’re eating.
Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand have found raw fruits and veggies are better for your mental health than those that are cooked, canned and processed. Study authors say this is probably because cooking and processing can reduce the amount of nutrients in the food, so we don’t get the full benefits from them when we eat them in that form.
“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,” explains lead study author Kate Brookie.
So what kind of produce should we be eating to get the biggest mood boost? The best foods for mental health include carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens, grapefruit, citrus, fresh berries, cucumber and kiwi. Let’s add these to the shopping list ASAP.