You may be wondering how much influence does the food we eat have on our mental health? The simple answer is - a lot. The brain responds to stimuli that will release those "feel good" hormones. This process in the brain explains why we often feel amazing after a fun activity, having a delicious, tasty meal, or even sex. Foods rich in certain essential nutrients play a role in improving mental health. They serve complimentary uses in therapies for mental ailments such as depression and anxiety in people who suffer from them.
When we talk about diet planning, most of the discussion is often surrounding weight loss. Although it is important to monitor caloric consumption because it relates to overall health, knowing how food choices affect the brain is equally important.
Including the foods on this list in your diet will help you improve weight loss and improve your mental health and wellbeing.
So let’s jump right into the five foods that will boost your mental health.
Nuts are a fantastic source of omega-3, an essential nutrient that fights depression. Another nut that is great for your brain is cashews. They improve the supply of oxygen to the brain.
Almonds contain phenylalanine, a chemical compound known to assist the brain in producing neurotransmitters such as dopamine that make you feel good. People who live with Parkinson's syndrome have responded positively to phenylalanine.
2. Whole Grains
You can't go wrong with a grains integrated diet, especially those designed for weight loss and improving your mental health. Soy, beans, and oats are some of the foods that fall under this category of foods.
Your body and brain need carbohydrates to produce the energy it needs to do daily activities. But we tend to consume a little too much carbohydrates that result in spiking up our blood sugar. Foods that belong in the whole grain category contain complex carbohydrates. These complex compounds slowly produce carbohydrates, thereby serving as a consistent energy source for the body.
Another benefit of whole grains for mental health is their ability to ease the absorption of tryptophan in the brain. A diet that contains whole grains and foods such as chicken and salmon can boost your brain function and help fight depression.
3. Spinach leafy greens
Yes, the good old spinach! If you are not sure of what leafy green to stick to, spinach makes an easy choice. Spinach is a fantastic source of folic acid for the body and is perfect for the brain to reduce the symptoms of depression. If you are battling insomnia and it is starting to make you feel depressed, you should add spinach and other leafy greens to your diet.
Most people enjoy seafood, except for those who suffer seafood allergies. Like grains, seafood such as salmon and oysters contain a rich amount of omega-3 fats, which improve mental wellness. Seafood is one of the most important components of a healthy diet that prevents anxiety and depression. Diversify your source of getting omega-3 by including seafood such as tuna, trout, sardines, and salmon in your meals.
5. Olive Oil
You can’t have a Mediterranean-style diet without olive oil. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, which is beneficial to people with Alzheimer’s disease by removing the proteins linked to the mental condition.
When shopping for olive oil, make sure you buy extra virgin olive oil.