Research suggests that what we eat not only affects our physical health but also our mental health. We can manage our mental well-being with the help of proper diets, especially those rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and high fiber.
Eating a well-balanced diet that contains the right carbohydrates, fiber, vegetables, and fruits is associated with feelings of well-being. A study in the year 2014 proved high levels of well being among individuals who ate more fruits and vegetables. Poor nutrition could lead to physical health problems like obesity. The relationship between obesity and mental health problems is too complex. A systematic study's results conducted in the year 2010 show that people who were obese had a 55% increased in developing depression, whereas people having depression had a 58% increased risk of Obesity.
There are actually two ways nutritional changes can help with mental health: by following healthy habits and reducing unhealthy ones. For the best results, you have to do both. Eating the right foods for your mental health is pretty simple. You need to eat more real, whole, natural foods, and less processed and junk food.
Here are some of the most nutritious, easily available, foods for maintaining the best mental health:
Broccoli is rich in potassium, Vitamin C, and folate. It also contains a lot of fiber which acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics make a friendly environment for probiotic bacterias to flourish in your gut. It is known to slow mental decline and support healthy brain and nervous tissue function.
Yogurt is a fermented food with billions of probiotic bacteria. The probiotic bacteria found in yogurt may be an alternative to medication for the treatment of depression.
Additionally, probiotics break down nutrients for better absorption. This not only improves digestion but also allows the body and brain to better use the nutrients we consume. Greek yogurt has the highest protein content with a thick consistency, and it is a good substitute for sour cream. There are some fun ways to eat yogurt. Add it to cereal, to fruit salads and smoothies, salad dressing, cold soups potato topping the list goes on.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein, potassium, and Vitamin D. It is also a rich source of DHA omega 3. It has high amount of B vitamins, including B12. Salmon provides tryptophan in the brain. It converts to serotonin, an important mood regulator, in the brain.
4) Berries rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries, as well as other berries, are rich in vitamin C and high in antioxidants. They also have a lot of fiber, potassium, and digestive enzymes. Berries can be eaten raw or added to cereal, yogurt, and smoothies.
Berries (blueberries and strawberries) also contain a compound called polyphenolics, which have been found to improve memory, concentration, and attention span.
Besides mushrooms and fatty fish like salmon, eggs are one of the few rich sources of vitamin D. Eggs are known to help ease stress and soothe anxiety. They are high in protein and are a good source of omega 3’s if they are from pasture-raised chickens. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin B12.
6) Chia seeds
These tiny powerhouses have an enormous amount of omega 3’s. One tablespoon contains about 1769 mg of omega 3’s. The recommended amount of omega 3 is 1000-3000 mg per day. Research suggests that chia seeds can help reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calmness. They also have calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Incorporating these foods into your diet will provide essential nutrients.
Eating these foods will provide many other nutrients that improve your mental health. The key to mental health is eating nutritionally rich food as part of a wide variety as a whole, real food.