Foods are a fantastic way to boost any area of the body, including the brain. But, when people think about increased brain function, they often think about learning or memory. Most people don’t realise that dietary changes can have a positive effect on mental health. If you’re suffering from anxiety or depression, making some dietary changes could improve your symptoms. Here are five foods that work for mental health.
The average diet of someone living in the Western World is deficient in Omega 3s. That’s because we replace this essential fat with saturated fats instead, resulting in poorer health. Did you know that Omega 3s can have a positive effect on the production of serotonin and dopamine? These are the chemicals that produce a happy feeling or mood. Eating more Omega 3 rich fish can help you manage depression and anxiety over the long-term.
Simple carbohydrates, like those in pasta or doughnuts, are often the ones we consume the most. They are high in glucose, which we need for brain function. However, this type of glucose is quickly delivered to the brain, allowing us the brain power we need but crashing our energy levels and mood soon after. The glucose in complex carbohydrates is delivered to the brain slowly, releasing brain power and energy in intervals so that it lasts. This means we don’t feel the same sort of crash. You can find complex carbohydrates in whole grains, oats, beans and soy.
Any sufferers of depression or anxiety will know that it can be difficult to balance moods and thoughts. That’s why teen anxiety treatment is so important and beneficial. Serotonin is a chemical that can help to balance mood, and tryptophan produces it. Lean protein is full of tryptophan, an amino acid that can be found in foods like chicken, fish, turkey and eggs. Combining complex carbohydrates and lean protein is an excellent way to build a great mental health diet.
Your mother told you to eat your greens for a reason. Leafy greens to be exact. Leafy greens like broccoli, spinach, kale and romaine are all high in folic acid. Folic acid is essential for improving mood, fatigue and insomnia. Broccoli can also have many other health benefits. The vegetable contains selenium which is known to improve fertility, immune response and metabolism. Studies have shown that low levels of selenium can be a contributing factor to conditions like depression and anxiety.
You can get probiotics by eating foods like yoghurt, kimchi, kefir and tempeh. This type of healthy bacteria is known to reduce stress and anxiety. So, if you’re eating too many unhealthy foods with the wrong type of bacteria present, you can balance it out with probiotics. Just a simple yoghurt drink once a day can do wonders for your mental health.
Our modern-day diet is a massive factor in how we manage our mental health. By making a few dietary and lifestyle changes, you could see a huge improvement.
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