We know that the food we eat impacts our physical health. But it also directly impacts our mental health. Food plays a key role in how you feel, think, and your ability to maintain focus and concentration.
But with the endless food choices available today and the struggle of dealing with mental health challenges, you may find it difficult to think about what’s best for your diet.
To make it easier, we’ve listed some of the best foods you can add to your plate to help boost your mental health.
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates that break down gradually giving your brain a slow and consistent source of energy. This not only stabilizes your sugar levels but also your mood. Good sources include whole-grain bread, cereal, brown rice, brown pasta, oats, couscous, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.
Simple carbohydrates like white bread, rice, and fruit juices spike your sugar levels and equally get depleted fast leaving you feeling tired, irritable, anxious, or depressed.
2. Lean Proteins
A protein-rich diet can help you achieve better mental and cognitive health. Proteins contain amino acids that assist in producing neurotransmitters that help ease anxiety and depression symptoms. With a more stable mood, you can think, learn, and react to situations better. Some of the lean proteins include fish, chicken, legumes, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, and seeds.
3. Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables are a rich source of folate that produces serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that regulates mood, deters depression and anxiety symptoms, and reduces insomnia. They include kale, spinach, swiss chard, bok choy, watercress, and mustard greens.
4. Nuts, Seeds, and Berries
Nuts, seeds, and berries are a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamins B and E, magnesium, potassium, and zinc that can be beneficial to your mental well-being.
These nutrients and minerals stabilize the sugar levels and regulate your mood, leading to decreased depression and anxiety symptoms, and improved sleep. Consider adding almonds, walnuts, pistachios, strawberries, blueberries, and more to your diet to boost your mental health.
5. Healthy Fats
Intake of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your brain healthy and your mental health in check. The omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that are known to reduce depression symptoms. Good sources of omega-3 include cashew nuts, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, rapeseed oil, and fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon.
Maintaining gut health has been shown to have a direct impact on mental health. The probiotics in yogurt, kimchi, and other fermented foods promote better brain function, regulate mood, and reduce stress and anxiety symptoms.
7. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids and amino acids that promote production of the feel-good endorphins and serotonin. For simply improving your memory, focus, and mood, you need to consider taking dark chocolate to give you the positivity you need to boost your mental health.
Contact Answers LLC for Comprehensive Mental Health Services in Idaho Falls
If you’re struggling with any mental health challenge, you can count on Answers LLC. We offer quality and personalized mental health services to help you resolve your issues with compassion and care so you can live your best life. Contact us to schedule an appointment.