Did you know that the foods you eat can actually affect your mind? Yes, it’s true. Not only do the foods you eat affect you physically, but they also can affect your thinking and mental health. As I’ve posted about before, each facet of us is connected. The functioning of our body affects our mind, and vice versa. It’s so crucial to follow a diet with good nutrition.
Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function. These studies even found that symptoms of depression worsened on this high-sugar diet! Many parents can attest to the mood changes when their child ingests sugar or artificial food colorings. Even adults can attest to their mood changes or changes to their focus with certain foods (or larger amounts of certain foods). When a person’s brain isn’t getting the proper fuel, it can’t function. It is similar to filling a car with the wrong type of gasoline. The car won’t function correctly. It will eventually break down. It’s the same with your brain; the wrong types of fuel are going to cause things to go awry.
Below is a list of foods that I’ve found in my research that can help your brain functioning, and so help your mental health:
1) Fish (fatty). Our brains are made up mostly of fat, which the body cannot create on its own. Our need for omega-3 fatty acids must be met in our diet. A few examples of fish that are good for this are: salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
2) Leafy greens. B vitamin deficiency has been discovered to have links with depression. These greens contain B vitamins and trace nutrients found in soil, which are lacking in the diets of many people.
3) Fermented foods. These foods can include kimchi, yogurt, pickled vegetables, and others. Your body needs “good” bacteria. These healthy bacteria have been found to reduce stress hormones, as well as anxiety!
4) Lean proteins. These can include chicken, eggs, beans, and, once again, fish. These foods can help keep serotonin (a hormone that helps you to feel happy) levels balanced.
Below is an intriguing video by a clinical psychologist, if you’d like to hear more about the link between mental health and nutrition.
This was the last post in the mental health series! I do hope that you found some useful tip(s) or thoughts in the posts. Please know that you are not alone and you are LOVED in whatever struggles you may be facing!
Past posts from the series: