In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook the importance of what we eat. But did you know that what you put on your plate can have a big impact on your mental health? It turns out that the old saying “you are what you eat” might have more truth to it than we thought.

A recent study by Brookie et al. (2018) has shed light on the connection between our diet and our mental well-being. Researchers found that people who consume more fruits and vegetables tend to have better mental health overall. This might not come as a surprise, considering the wealth of nutrients found in these foods.

But here’s where it gets interesting: the study found that raw fruits and vegetables seem to have an even stronger effect on mental health than their cooked or processed counterparts. That’s right – munching on a crisp apple or crunchy carrot might do wonders for your mood.

So, why are raw fruits and veggies so special? It all comes down to nutrients. When fruits and vegetables are cooked or processed, some of their nutrients can be lost in the process. Raw fruits and veggies, on the other hand, retain all of their natural goodness, delivering a powerful punch of vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal emotional functioning.

But before you start stocking up on canned veggies or frozen fruits, it’s important to note that not all processing methods are created equal. Some studies suggest that certain forms of processing, like freezing, might have less of an impact on nutrient levels than others. However, when it comes to mental health benefits, raw is still king.

So, what can we do to harness the power of raw fruits and vegetables for our mental well-being? First and foremost, we can make an effort to incorporate more raw produce into the way we eat, and this can even simplify our meal prep!  According to this study, the top 10 raw foods related to better mental health include: carrots, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens, grapefruit, lettuce, citrus fruits, fresh berries, cucumbers, and kiwis. So the next time your putting together your meal or grabbing something to eat, consider grabbing something raw – your brain will thank you for it!