A healthy and balanced diet improves our overall health, including our heart health and mental health.
How a Balanced Diet can improve our Psychological Condition
People who consume more fresh fruits and vegetables tend to report lower mental health disturbances than people who don’t have a properly nutritious diet.
If certain foods can prevent heart attacks and keep your gut healthy, certain foods keep your mood elevated.
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 than other foods, thus causing an intense, short-lived boost of energy. When this feeling disappears, it leaves you feeling lazy 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 folic acid and vitamin B sources. 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 they 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 consuming chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs to keep serotonin levels balanced.
What we put in our bodies positively affects all our body functions, including our mental stability. A balanced diet that supports proper brain functions is necessary to prevent mental illnesses.
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 get better but follow your doctor’s advice/prescription and a healthy diet.