Although you may not realize it, the food you put into your body has a huge effect on your mental well-being as well as your physical health. Integrating healthy, nutritious foods into your diet is an easy and effective way to boost your mental and physical health. Online counseling platforms such as MyTherapist also give you the opportunity to attain enhanced mental health as well. Below, find five foods with amazing benefits for your overall well-being. These foods are great to eat when you’re looking to improve your mood and mindset!
Did you know that fresh berries are actually considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet? They have tons of physical and mental benefits, but here we’ll focus on their positive effects on mental health. First, berries protect the cells in your body with antioxidants. These antioxidants can also delay the mental decline that comes with aging, and they even aid brain function! Blueberries in particular are associated with a lower risk of dementia and reduced effects of Alzheimer’s. Plus, eating berries regularly can increase your concentration and focus.
Almonds have impressive health benefits, and their effects on mental health are just as powerful! They’re a great food to eat if you’re experiencing anxiety, thanks to their high magnesium content. When you’re not consuming enough magnesium, your brain produces less serotonin, which is the hormone that stabilizes mood, happiness, and overall well-being. Therefore, eating plenty of almonds is a simple way to boost your mental health by stimulating serotonin production.
Even if you’re not a big fan of the taste of fish, there are other ways to experience the physical and mental health benefits of this food. For example, you can take omega-3 fish oil supplements rather than consuming the fish itself. The nutrients in fish have been proven to delay mental decline, and those who eat fish on a regular basis typically have more gray matter in the parts of the brain linked to memory and emotional regulation.
If you’re living with depression, you may benefit greatly from adding fish or fish oil supplements to your diet. This is because those who regularly eat fish are less likely to develop depression. Eating fish reduces the symptoms of depression, and it can also make antidepressants more effective. Studies suggest that it can also be beneficial in aiding other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder.
Eggs are chock-full of ingredients that support good mental health. For example, eggs contain choline, which is a component of the brain chemical acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a part in regulating mood and improving memory. In addition, studies have found that the choline found in eggs is also associated with improved cognitive performance as well as enhanced verbal and visual memory.
Eggs also contain lutein, which supports memory and overall cognition. Lutein even improves the brain’s connectivity! As if that weren’t enough, eggs also reduce brain inflammation and can even cut back on the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Yes, chocolate can improve your mental health! Of course, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t be consuming huge amounts of dark chocolate each day. Instead, try to stick to eating one to two ounces a day to reap the physical and mental health benefits of dark chocolate without consuming too many calories. Dark chocolate improves your brain function by increasing the amount of blood flow that goes to your brain. For those who are elderly and are experiencing mental impairment, dark chocolate can also cognitive function, verbal fluency, and the risk of developing various diseases.
But dark chocolate doesn’t just have beneficial effects over time; it can actually boost your mental health in the short-term as well! After eating dark chocolate, you’re likely to notice that you feel more alert and ready to take on the day ahead of you thanks to the stimulants it contains (caffeine and theobromine).
The food you eat has a huge impact on your mental health, so why not choose to eat foods with mental health benefits? Fresh berries, almonds, fish, eggs, and dark chocolate are just a few common, easy-to-find foods that you can easily integrate into your current diet. Include these healthy foods in your day-to-day life, and enjoy the boost to your physical and mental health! Of course, there is much more to your health than the food you eat, but it is an easy and effective place to start.