Skip The Canned Vegetables and Go Raw for Better Mental Health

raw vegetables and fruit man eating salad

A new study suggests eating vegetables and fruits in their natural state better for mental health


Researchers have discovered that eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state is better for mental health.


Are you a man who believes there is a connection between what you eat and how you feel? Have you long maintained that the types of food you put into your body have a direct impact on your mood?

If the answer is yes, this story is for you.

Researchers at the University of Otago have discovered that eating raw fruits and vegetables may be better for your mental health than canned, cooked or processed foods.

Published in the peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Psychology, the study detailed the findings of 400 young adults from New Zealand and the United States who were between the ages of 18 to 25 years old.

The thinking behind using this age group was because historically, 18-25 year olds have the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption rates of all other groups. They are also at greater risk of developing mental health disorders.

Dr. Tamlin Conner, Psychology Senior Lecturer and lead author, said in a press release: “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.”

The study’s participants consumption of raw versus cooked and processed fruits and vegetables were reviewed, along with other variables, including: lifestyle, demographic variables, exercise, chronic health conditions, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and gender.

Related: Are you getting enough protein? 

“Controlling for the covariates, raw fruit and vegetable consumption predicted lower levels of mental illness symptomology, such as depression, and improved levels of psychological well-being including positive mood, life satisfaction and flourishing. These mental health benefits were significantly reduced for cooked, canned, and processed fruits and vegetables.

“This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health,” said Dr. Conner.

So, the bottom line? If you are interested in better mental health, it’s probably a good idea to skip the canned version of your favorite veggies and fruits and opt for these items in their natural state.

About MJ Duff 44 Articles
Marie-Jones Duff is a Los Angeles based freelance multimedia journalist and frequent traveler with a fondness for all things bizarre and nerdy. Look for posts that focus on everything from men's fashion to science.