There is a famous Michael Greger saying: “the foods we choose make a difference”. Of course, we all know the importance of healthy meals for physical well-being but the benefits of a nutritious diet are not limited to physical health. The food we eat also affects our mental well-being.
Every machine needs fuel to perform different types of operations. In the same way, our body needs healthy food to create energy and perform various tasks throughout the day. Therefore, the food we eat determines how well our body and mind functions.
A healthy meal plays a crucial role in improving your mental health. In addition, some nutrients are beneficial for people suffering from mental issues, like stress, depression, and anxiety.
Top 8 foods that can be helpful for mental wellness
#1 Whole grains
Adding different types of whole grains to a diet can boost a good mood. Some of the popular foods that fall into this category are soya, oats, and wild rice. Eating whole grains can help reduce problems like mood swings, anxiety, and depression. It is because most whole grains are rich in tryptophan. It is an amino acid that the body requires for producing serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin helps the brain and body to relax, whereas melatonin improves your sleep cycle. Apart from this, whole grains are also helpful in maintaining blood sugar levels, which help to stabilize your mood.
it is a popular food item for mental well-being. So, can yogurt help to treat depression? Well, yogurt is a rich source of probiotics that help to reduce stress and anxiety. Also, lactobacillus is a bacteria present in yogurt and some people believe that it can reverse the symptoms of depression. However, research is still in process and, hopefully, the results will be positive.
Along with such benefits, yogurt also provides potassium and magnesium which helps oxygen reach the brain, promoting better performance.
Nuts or dry fruit are a source of nutrition and are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is helpful in combating depression, such as walnuts, which are a top nut for mental health. It has a high concentration of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and almonds are considered helpful for a good memory as they are rich in vitamin E. Other nuts, like peanuts, cashews, and chestnuts, also have health benefits for the brain.
#4 Olive oil
There are some exceptional health benefits to olive oil. It boosts the immune system, increases bone density, and helps to prevent heart disease. The best thing about olive oil is that it is great for mental wellness, being high in natural antioxidants as well as vitamins E and K. Both of these vitamins benefit mental health. Vitamin E prevents free radical damage to the brain and slow memory loss. On the other hand, Vitamin K boosts the processing speed of the brain. Apart from many health benefits, olive oil also increases brain-boosting chemicals which encourage the formation of brain cells.
Tomato is tasty as well as healthy. Eating tomato as a salad or mixing it with veggies results in various types of health benefits. Can eating tomatoes help to get rid of anxiety? Well, it can help to treat the symptoms of anxiety and depression because tomatoes contain lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps to repair damaged brain cells.
Avocado is rich in tryptophan and omega-3. It helps to regulate the brain’s neurotransmitters and combat inflammation. So, it is better to add avocado to your grocery list and eat this nutrient-rich fruit. Also, deficiency of magnesium results in stress, anxiety, and improper sleep; avocado is rich in magnesium.
#7 Dark chocolate
Chocolate is the perfect stress buster. If we forget the health benefits for once, just the name chocolate is enough to bring happiness to the face. Everyone loves chocolate, from a kid to an elderly person. Its taste, texture, and fragrance boost a person’s mood.
Now, let’s try to understand how consuming an adequate amount of chocolate is beneficial for our well-being. Chocolate is known as brain food. It contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants as well as being rich in flavanols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Leafy green veggies, like spinach, have plenty of health benefits and one of them is they are good brain food as well as being rich in folate, iron, calcium, vitamin E and K. Homocysteine is a toxic compound to neurons. Leafy veggies, like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, and collards, help to reduce homocysteine levels. It also keeps the brain younger and active. Spinach can be added to the diet in omelets, salads, soups, wraps, and smoothies.
There is not a single food item that can work like a magic wand for mental health. Eating a proper meal with specific mind-boosting nutrients is essential. To know more about how to improve mental health, consider the best ebook to boost daily stamina that emphasizes having proper meals to fuel the brain. Adding the above-mentioned food items to the diet can be a great step towards a healthy mind.