Raw and cooked veggies and fruit have benefits. While some nutrients, like vitamin C, break down with cooking, others are retained or even increase with cooking. For example, the beneficial plant chemical lycopene, present in tomatoes, increases when the tomatoes are cooked. For mental health, however, raw veggies and fruit may be especially beneficial, according to a recent study. Among more than 400 participants surveyed, eating raw produce (up to 6.5 daily servings) was linked to lower symptoms of depression and anxiety and higher levels of positive mood, life satisfaction, and “flourishing” (a term used to describe feelings of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment) compared with eating cooked or processed vegetables. Researchers ruled out a number of variables, such as participants’ exercise habits, sleep patterns, and other diet patterns, but bigger and better-designed studies are necessary to explore the results. Include plenty of raw and cooked veggies in your diet. Snack on apples and carrots, roast broccoli and cauliflower for dinner, make lots of veggie-filled soups and green salads.
Source: Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables
“Consuming more raw and cooked vegetables may improve your health by reducing your risk of heart disease, helping you to maintain your weight, and improving your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.” Stephanie Brookshier