People tend to understand that what they eat has a direct bearing on their physical health. Diet also has an enormous effect on mental health, too. The foods you eat can help you overcome anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Here are the top six foods that can help. Although they are numbered, it is useful to think of them together, rather than one being better than another.
Often relegated to the role of a garnish because it is visually appealing, parsley is a powerful brain food. It is high in vitamin C, folate, many minerals including iron, and it contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Parsley also contains a lot of protein.
Parsley is best when eaten raw, such as by chopping and addition to green salads. It can be cooked or added to soups, stews, and sauces for flavor, though cooking diminishes the amount of healthy substances in parsley.
Studies have shown that there is a link between mental health and vitamin D. This is one reason that depression and other mental illnesses tend to be most prevalent in the winter. Our bodies produce vitamin D when we get sunlight.
Many foods are artificially fortified with vitamin D. However, white mushrooms are a good natural source of this vitamin. Whether raw or lightly sautéed, white mushrooms can be eaten for a boost in vitamin D levels, helping with mental health.
These six foods can help overcome depression and anxiety by making sure that the needed substances are available to your body for mental health. These are all good for good physical health, too. This makes sense because a healthy body and mental health go together. Eat healthily and stay calm and happy. This is more than just a good motto.
Whole grain includes all the cereal grains. While this is a group of foods rather than one, a key to the healthfulness of whole grains is that the entire grain is used in whole grains.
Specifically, whole grains contain complex carbohydrates that increase the amount of an enzyme called tryptophan in the bloodstream during digestion. Tryptophan is used by the brain to produce the neurotransmitter; Serotonin. Serotonin has a calming effect on brain functions. There is substantial research showing that low serotonin levels are a leading cause of mental issues such as depression and anxiety.
Whole grains supply tryptophan for a long period. Substituting whole grain flour for white flour in cookies, breads, or pasta is an example of ways to increase the intake.
Tuna is high in protein, which helps to clear the mind and to give you energy. Having the proper intake of protein to balance the carbohydrate intake stabilizes the brain function. Tuna is also a good source of vitamin B12 and it contains vitamin B9.
Tuna contains tryptophan, so it helps to increase serotonin levels. Additionally, tuna is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are extremely important antioxidants that function throughout the body, including the brain.
Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between depression and the lack of B vitamins, especially B9 (folate) and B12. Broccoli isn’t a great source of B12, but it is a good source of folate. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is another important antioxidant. One cup of chopped broccoli contains more than the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Vitamin C is also needed to produce serotonin. Additionally, broccoli has a lot of protein and it contains Omega-3.
For the greatest benefit, broccoli should be eaten raw or steamed. It shouldn’t be over-cooked because this can leach out many of the healthful substances.
Garlic is a super plant. It is helpful for so many ailments and health in general. It is high in vitamin C, very high in vitamin B6, contains lots of thiamin, manganese, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper, and zinc. It also contains Omega-3 fatty acids and has a high protein content.
Garlic is best when eaten raw, which many people take objection to doing, but it still imparts a lot of health benefits. As a tip, an age-old way of taking care of “garlic-breath” is to eat a sprig of raw parsley, mentioned above.