Eating raw fruits and vegetables could boost mental health and assuage depressive symptoms, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand found that people who consumed more produce in its natural, uncooked state reported higher levels of psychological well-being compared to those who ate mostly cooked alternatives.
Surveying 422 adults between the ages of 18 and 25, the study also considered other variables relating to participants’ lifestyles such as overall diet, physical activity, body mass index and socioeconomic status.
While researchers were unable to identify a specific cause-and-effect for their results, they speculated that the correlation might be down to the abundance of micronutrients in fruits and vegetables being more easily-absorbed when consumed in their raw states.
“Raw fruits and vegetables may provide greater levels of micronutrients than processed fruits and vegetables, which could explain their stronger association with improved mental well-being,” the study reads.