8Foods to Boost Mental Health–Keeping your mind & brains sharp is as simple as eating certain types of food & fruit daily.
Food is often only looked at as a source of energy–and it is. Food enables us to carry on with our everyday tasks. In addition to providing us with energy, it is also one of the biggest influencers on our health, both physically and mentally.
Nutritionists are convinced, thanks to science, that food and drinks can either elevate or worsen our mood and health completely — inside and outside.
You Really Are What You Eat?
What we are consuming on a daily basis can have such a power over our mind, so it’s only right that we choose to take power over what we consume and turn the odds in our favour. We found out what are eight best whole foods to get some pep in your step next time you go shopping for groceries!
Whole grains have the power to release glucose in a slow manner into the bloodstream, supplying you with the right amount of energy to concentrate and remain stable throughout the day.
1/ Brown rice is a variety of whole grain foods and it is loaded with antioxidants that provide relief from hypertension, stress and mental depression. Antioxidants are great fighters against free radicals, which may potentially damage brain cells and thus make us either feel depressed or anxious.
Moreover, brown rice also prevents complications caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to its content of gamma-Aminobutyric acids.
Bear in mind, although white rice is healthy, brown rice has a much better influence on your entire nervous system.
Whole grains can release the energy that you need gradually throughout the day, thus causing energy spikes and crashes.
2/Like many other whole grains, barley is naturally rich in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that produces serotonin and melatonin.
The latter helps with better sleep, and the former helps improve moods. Thus a service of barley can brighten up your entire day, just like how a bouquet of cheap flowers does too.
Barley should become a part of your regular diet because it can also help you deal with symptoms of schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and depression.
3/ Oats are abundant in complex carbohydrates. This means you will feel full longer, and you will be fuelled with the right nutrients slowly, not abruptly. Oats are both good for the brain and the body because glucose is a vital food for our brains.
If you consume simple carbohydrates, you will either feel down or moody, because the glucose released creates spikes in blood sugar levels that have an effect on the brain, which can be compared to drug abuse.
In addition to being power food for the brain, oats are packed with vitamin B, which helps maintain and balance the nervous system.
4/ If your diet is lacking omega-3 fatty acids, then you should start incorporating salmon into your diet today to positively affect your brain. Why is this? Our brain is mostly made of fat, but our body cannot produce the fat it needs.
Omega-3 has a direct effect on the production of dopamine and serotonin, which is why it has such a powerful effect on your mood.
These fatty acids can only be consumed through our diet, which is why you have to incorporate food such as salmon that are rich in omega-3. If you consume salmon and other types of fatty fish regularly, you can reduce symptoms of depression, schizophrenia and other types of mental illnesses.
5/ Another fatty fish is herring. Every serving of herring contains 2.8 grams of DHA and EPA, which are two types of omega-3 acids.
In addition to being rich with omega-3 acids, herring also has high levels of potassium that helps nerve cells send electrical signals, meaning it is really important for the upkeep of your nervous system. Once your nervous system is nourished properly, it can fight off many undesirable mental diseases.
6/ Research published in the Annals of Neurology shows that women who consume two servings of strawberries and one serving of blueberries per week experience less mental decline throughout time, than those who do not. Although cognitive decline is inevitable, regular consumers of blueberries are at least able to postpone it for up to three years.
This is all thanks to a class of compounds called anthocyanidins, which is a type of flavonoid. These compounds are powerful because they are able to jump the hurdle between the blood and brain and reach the centre that is in charge of learning and memory.
Blueberries, similar to other berries, are also rich in antioxidants.
Due to this, consuming them regularly is tied to decreasing the chances of Parkinson’s disease and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Thanks to polyphenolics, blueberries are able to clean toxins that build up through time, thus preventing cognitive deterioration.
7/This red fruit is not only food for the soul, it is food for the brain—strawberries are packed with vitamin C and magnesium, which can be quite good for maintaining the regular functioning of the brain.
Lack of vitamin C and magnesium is often tied to depression, anxiety, lack of memory, insomnia and anger and irritability.
However, if you munch on strawberries twice a week, you will decrease your chances of combating either of these mental problems. We all know that antioxidants are great for your skin, but they are also very powerful allies when it comes to fighting mental deterioration.
What causes this deterioration in the first place? Our brains are quite sensitive to free radicals, and if we do not consume food that is rich in compounds such as anti-oxidants that neutralises them, we have a higher chance of suffering of some kind of mental condition.
8/ Found in the rainforests of Amazon, the indigenous acai berry is rich in antioxidants, just like its other fellow berries.
This means you are fighting off free radicals, stimulating your immune system, and feeding your brain with the nutrients that keep it in balance. As in the case of blueberries, acai berries also contain polyphenols.
These are proteins which give berries their deep red or blue colour but also play a big role in cleaning up damaged cells and recycling toxic chemicals related to mental illness related to ageing.
The next time you roll the cart around the shop remember that what the content you decide to put in can either destroy or improve your mental health. And keep in mind that food are not only useful for eating. They can be used to enhance the way your skin glows.