MENTAL WELLNESS

Good Mood Food? Here’s the Key to Eating Well for Mental Health!

Food for mental health and wellness improves your memory

Mental wellness food may reduce symptoms of depression

Include walnuts and whole grains in diet for mental health

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
October 29th, 2021
6 mins read

Benefits of eating well-balanced food are not just limited to your physical health. You can also boost your mental health with a healthy diet. When it comes to mental wellness, food can help you think clearly, feel alert, and improve your attention span [1]. Having the ideal food for mental health and wellness increases your energy, boosts your mood, and may reduce symptoms of depression [2].

Eating well for mental health is important, particularly given the stress you may experience from a modern lifestyle. Read on to know the components of the best diet for mental health!

Additional Read: Heart Healthy Diet: 15 Foods You Should Eat

food for mental health wellness

Food for mental health and wellness 

  • Walnuts 

A study published in 2019 observed that people who regularly eat nuts, especially walnuts, are less prone to depression [3]. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants that can inhibit oxidation in the brain and body. Surprisingly, walnuts help grow new brain cells that are required for good mental health. Nuts in general are a great source of unsaturated fats. In fact, if you consume more unsaturated fat than saturated fat, you are less likely to have anxiety.

  • Seafood 

Fish is often regarded as a mental wellness food. This is because seafood such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout, oysters, mussels, and herring are rich in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. It helps improve both short and long-term memory and boosts mental health. These fatty acids are known to reduce levels of anxiety. According to a study in Nutritional Neuroscience, consuming a high quantity of omega-3-rich foods is one of the key dietary recommendations for preventing depression [4].

  • Whole grains 

Whole grains are a good mood food as they are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone. In a study, women who consumed moderate amounts of wholegrain had lower odds of having anxiety [5]. Moreover, whole grains are beneficial for people with depression. The feel-good hormone in wholegrain helps calm your mind and improves your mood. Beans, soy, oats, and wild rice are some examples of whole grains.

food for mental health wellness

  • Berries 

Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants. They help in repairing damaged cells and fight inflammation caused by free radicals. They are also found to lower symptoms of anxiety and depression. Polyphenol, a compound found in blueberries and strawberries improves concentration, attention, and memory. A review in 2020 found that berries reduce psychological distress, reduce symptoms of depression, and promote optimism [6].

  • Green vegetables 

According to a study, consuming leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens helps to slow cognitive decline [7]. Folic acid in spinach and other leafy green vegetables helps your brain prevent depression. This diet for mental health is also linked with fighting insomnia and reducing dementia in older people.

  • Yogurt 

Yogurt and other products provide the benefits of probiotics which help your digestive system. Apart from assisting in digestive health, probiotics have been associated with reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. Yogurt also contains potassium and magnesium that help oxygen reach your brain. Thus, it boosts your brain’s ability to function by impacting mental health.

  • Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate contains cocoa, which has a type of antioxidant known as flavonoids. This antioxidant boosts attention and memory, enhances mood, and fights cognitive decline in older adults. The darker the chocolate is, the better it is for your health as it has more cocoa. However, you should consume this food for mental health and wellness in moderation.

Additional Read: 7 Important Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health

avoid these foods for mental health

Now that you know the relationship between diet and mental health, choose good mood foods! They will boost how you feel and think. Apart from this, do not forget to adopt other healthy habits such as limiting screen time and keeping yourself physically active. Get advice from top nutritionists and health professionals by booking an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. This way, you can know more about the best food for mental health and wellness and physical health too.

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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