Previously, we have shown you many ways on how to improve your health. Whether it’s related to heart, diabetes, cancer, but how about mental health? Sometimes, something as simple as upgrading your diet plan can make significant changes. For instance, reduce symptoms of depression, boost cognitive function, it can help with anxiety and other mental health disorders.
When we refer to strengthening our brain power, we don’t necessarily mean learning new things or engaging in thought-provoking debate. But, in reality, it’s quite the opposite. When you have a ”happy belly” or a well-fed gut, this will result in a mental health improvement. The gut, like the brain, has its own nervous system. And as such, it sends information through the vagus nerve to the brain. To conclude, what we put in our gut, connects to how the brain functions.
The 5 Best Foods To Improve Your Mental Health
Everything we eat breaks down into substances. Protein is the most abundant substances in our body, next to carbs. When tryptophan– amino acid, produces serotonin, it can influence the mood.
Serotonin, associates with depression. So this is when lean protein is a game changer. Foods which have a lean protein content, such as turkey, chicken, eggs, beans, and fish, can balance the serotonin levels. In addition, the complex carbohydrates promote tryptophan into the brain, which results in reduced depression symptoms and anxiety.
Did you know what is the primary source of energy for the brain? If you guessed glucose, you guessed it right. Simple carbs effect mood by creating spikes in blood sugar and some studies suggest they can cause similar effects to drugs and abuse on the brain. In contrary, complex carbs discharge the glucose slowly. This is a great source of fuel for the body and brain, in addition, it also helps us feel full longer. These complex carbs can be found in whole wheat products, com, wild rice, beans, soy, bulgur, and oats.
The common American diet, instead of being rich in omega-3 fatty acid, is mostly based on trans fats and saturated fats. These two have been shown affect the brain negatively. This is because our brains consist mostly of fats, and our body cannot manufacture the essential fatty acids. Therefore, we must rely on a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as chicken fed on flaxseed, sardines, herring, seaweed, salmon, have been shown to reduce the signs of depression, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders.
Yogurt With Active Cultures
These yogurts can be for instance kimchi, tempeh, and kefir, contain probiotics– healthy bacteria. These probiotics have been shown to reduce stress hormones and anxiety. In the opposite, eating too many processed foods may actually compromise the balance of unhealthy and healthy food in the gut.
It’s not just coincidence that one of our favorite cartoon characters was getting high on spinach to win his girl back. These leafy greens are, for instance, turnip, mustard greens, broccoli, romaine, and, of course, spinach. They have content high in folic acid. Deficiencies in food acids and other the Vitamin B branch, directly link to increasing depression, insomnia, and fatigue.
Modern lifestyles truly differ from the time of ancestors. You can blame the society, your busy days, the manufacturers, but you can’t blame yourself. Nothing and no one can stop you from eating healthily. You can and must, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. And in contrast, decrease the intake of processed foods.
Finally, we’ve come to a conclusion, that nutrition is not only a key factor for general health and well-being, but it’s also the key piece the solving the mental health puzzle.
Thank you for reading.