8 Foods For A Healthy Mind And Mental Wellness
To work on your mental health, you need a healthy gut. You have to eat the right food to make sure that your mental health is taken care of.
Eating well improves your overall health and reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, specific kinds of cancers, and several other ailments. While physical fitness is necessary, taking care of your mental health is equally important.
Healthy habits, such as changing a bit of your simple diet can bring along significant changes in your mental health conditions, taking care of your cognitive function and reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
Talk about boosting brainpower, and the best way to do it is by taking care of the gut, which has its own nervous system. Now you know why you may feel queasy when you are stressed! Here are some foods which keep the mind working at its best.
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1. Fatty Fish
Fish, in general, is an excellent choice when it comes to healthy food. However, fatty fish like salmon tops the list of foods that keep the mind healthy. Fatty fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to control mental disorders like depression. Omega-3 fatty acids boost learning and memory as they produce neurotransmitters and brain chemicals responsible for our mood, including dopamine and serotonin. Fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring also have a naturally high amount of vitamin D, which reduces the risk of schizophrenia, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other mental disorders.
2. Whole Grains
The primary source of energy for the brain is glucose supplied by carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates can result in a low mood by creating spikes in blood sugar and impacting the brain, similar to drug abuse. On the contrary, complex carbs release glucose slowly, helping us feel full for longer, thereby supplying a steady fuel source for the brain and body. You may include healthy sources of carbohydrates like whole-wheat products, bulgur, oats, wild rice, barley, beans, and soy in your daily diet.
3. Lean Protein
Quite similar to carbohydrates, protein is the most abundant substance in the body. The building block of protein, the amino acid tryptophan, is responsible for enhancing mood by producing neurotransmitter serotonin, which associated with reducing depression levels. The serotonin levels are balanced well by consuming lean protein sources like fish, turkey, chicken, eggs, and beans. Chicken and turkey are delicious lean-protein choices containing the amino acid tryptophan.
4. Leafy Greens
Popeye kept us telling the benefits of eating spinach, didn’t he? While spinach made the Sailorman strong enough, it definitely also provided his brain with substantial amounts of amino acids. No wonder the guy was so happy! Leafy greens like spinach, romaine, turnip, and mustard greens, and broccoli have high folic acid content, which naturally reduces depression, fatigue, and insomnia. Broccoli also contains selenium, a trace mineral that helps our immune system function, reproduce, and control thyroid hormone metabolism.
5. Yogurt with Active Cultures
The benefits of yogurt are not confined to treating an upset stomach. Yogurt is known for its probiotics, which help your digestive system function smoothly. At the same time, thanks to the brain-gut connection, probiotics in yogurt also impact a person’s mental health, thereby lowering the levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you are looking for a nutritious snack to get your antioxidant fix, go for berries. You can make your pick from strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Antioxidants help in repairing cells and also assist in combating inflammation. It works on fighting free radical damages caused by pollutants, cigarette smoke, and other harmful dust particles. Berries improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression as they contain polyphenolics, which improves memory, concentration, and attention span.
Looking for a snack to help with your long-term brain health? Go for a handful of nuts. Nuts are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids which fight depression. Cashew is an excellent source of oxygen to the brain with a dose of magnesium. Almonds contain phenylalanine, which helps the brain to produce dopamine and other neurotransmitters that have mood-boosting properties. Phenylalanine can also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease. Walnuts are among the best sources of antioxidants that help to inhibit oxidation in the brain and the entire body. They result in the growth of new neurons in the brain, which is an essential aspect of a healthy mind.
Beans are one of the best choices for a happy, healthy brain. Beans are full of fiber and antioxidants that keep you fuller for longer. Beans and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans keep your blood sugar level stable and helping you burn more energy. Beans also contain thiamine, a vitamin that helps in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory.