A healthy and balanced diet improves our overall health including our heart health as well as mental health.
People who consume more fresh fruits and vegetables tend to report lower mental health disturbance than people who don’t have a properly nutritious diet.
If certain foods can prevent heart attacks and keep your gut healthy then there, certainly, are foods that keep your mood elevated.
How a Balanced Diet can improve our Psychological Condition
We have all had the feeling of being nauseous when we are nervous or stressed out. That proves that there is a relation between your gut and your brain. So whatever you put in your stomach can have a direct effect on your mood.
Foods That Improve Mental Health:
1) Non-Sugary Foods: Sugar is the leading cause of many health problems including emotional disturbances. Excessive amounts of artificial sugars enter the bloodstream faster compared to other foods thus causing an intense short-lived boost of energy. When this feeling disappears it leaves you feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Try and include more whole grain foods in your diet to replace sugary food.
2) Whole Grains: Whole grain bread, flour, cereals, oats, and rice are all carbohydrate-rich food. These carbohydrates are known to release glucose to bloodstreams slowly thus causing you to have a stable, steady availability of energy and a consistent happy mood.
3) Green Leafy Vegetables: Vitamin B, folic acid, and selenium are all needed to avoid depression, anxiety, mood swings, thyroid issues, and reproductive problems. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, lettuce, etc are all high sources of folic acid and vitamin B. For a selenium-rich diet choose Brazil nuts, fish, turkey, and chicken.
4) Fish with Omega-3: Wrong versions of fat such as trans and saturated fats can not only cause obesity and heart problems but are also associated with mood disturbances. The healthy replacement of these fats is a diet rich in Omega-3. Salmon, mackerel, sardines are all rich in omega-3. Other sources of Omega-3 include flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds
5) Zinc-rich Foods: Zinc deficiency can affect mental health to a great level. Shellfish, meat, seeds, nuts, eggs, etc are all great sources of zinc.
6) Proteins: Proteins and carbohydrates are both essential for proper body functioning. Proteins help in the production of serotonin that is linked to changes in our mood. It has to be at a certain balanced level otherwise our mind will fall into depression. A steady protein intake can be achieved by the consumption of chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs to keep serotonin levels balanced.
What we put in our body certainly affects all our body functions including our mental stability. A balanced diet that supports proper brain functions is necessary to prevent mental illnesses.
Having said that, a balanced diet alone isn’t the answer if you are already suffering from depression, etc., or have a
history of it. It can aid you in your journey to getting better but make sure you are following your doctor’s advice/prescription along with a healthy diet.