When you think of “feeding” your brain, you probably think of learning a new skill, reading the news, or brushing up on your French vocab from high school. While activities like those are crucial to keeping your mind sharp, it’s also important to literally feed your brain by eating a nutritious diet full of the best foods for mental health.
We all know that a healthy diet is key to physical health, but do you know about the effects of food on mental health? Some foods excel at boosting cognitive function, and can even lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Best Foods to Improve Mental Health:
- Fatty Fish: Our bodies cannot produce the essential fatty acids that our brain relies on, so we must get them from our diet. Omega-3 fats are often touted as the best brain food around. While the best source of omega-3s are oily fish such as salmon, trout and sardines, you can also find smaller levels in seaweed, walnuts and chia seeds.
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like spinach and kale seem to be the answer to everything, but they really are a powerhouse when it comes to the best foods for mental health. These greens – along with turnip and mustard greens, broccoli, lentils and beets – are high in folate, and studies have shown that folate deficiencies are linked to higher rates of depression and insomnia.
- Berries: Now here’s a food for good mental health that is also a treat to eat! Studies show that eating a cup of blueberries a day significantly boosts cognitive ability and oxygen flow to the brain. This is due to the flavonoids found in not only blueberries, but also strawberries, raspberries, dark chocolate and red wine.
It’s important to remember that while a nutritious diet and mental health are linked, healthy foods are not a substitute for mental health treatment. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder, please consult a therapist or physician.
For more information on “brain foods” and living a healthy lifestyle, give Wellworks For You a call today.