Food and mental health are interconnected. Period. It is really important to understand the food choices that your brain needs. There are foods such as gluten, dairy, caffeine which agitate the limbic centre and lead to stress, depression, fatigue. To make sure that your diet is integrated with food that helps not only keep your body healthy but also your brain here are some important additions that you should definitely incorporate into your diet
- Nuts – Walnuts are food with the richest amount of omega-3 fatty acids which directly affect the functioning of the brain and help in reducing depression symptoms. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids play important role in treating psychiatric disorders as the brain has nearly wholly made of lipids. Nuts also have high amounts of proteins like peanuts and carbohydrates like dates. Cashews help in oxygen uptake for the brain. Micronutrients are also abundantly found in nuts.
- Tomatoes – Found in tomatoes are folic acid and lycopene. Lycopene is a beneficial phytonutrient that helps ward off brain damage, and also helps with core brain functions such as memory, attention, logic, and concentration. Folic acids help keep depression under control as it promotes the production of dopamine and serotonin.
- Whole grains – Beans, soy, oat, rice which are included in whole grains help in the smooth uptake of sugar in the body. They also contain tryptophan which helps in boosting brain function.
- Leafy Vegetables – They contain high amounts of folic acid, powerful immune boosters, and prevent all types of inflammation. Hence in depression where the brain is inflamed, leafy vegetables play a vital role in the cure. It also helps in insomnia and dementia in elders.
- Apples – It is high in antioxidants which make sure the brain is healthy and constantly repairs the damage at the cellular level.
- Avocado – This contains essential fatty acids which are required by the brain. It also has vitamin B-complex, K, and E useful for the brain. Oleic acid found in avocadoes helps in boosting brain functioning.
- Fishes – Tuna, mackerel, herring, and salmon which contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids boost vital brain functions.
- Yoghurt – It provides magnesium, potassium, and other metal complexes which improve blood oxygen levels leading to adequate brain function.
- Mushrooms – It helps in lowering blood sugar levels which makes you less irritable and moody. It also promotes the body’s serotonin production which largely helps in maintaining one’s sanity
- Berries – Strawberries, black-blue berries, and raspberries contain the highest amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids which help in alleviating depression and boosting mood. They also help in cell repair and the prevention of illness.
Good mental health is related to the type of food intake and nutritional value of the food, therefore we should always shift to healthier options.