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Foods That Boost Mental Health

July 27, 2015

You had a bad day at work so dive into a package of Oreos when you get home. Afterward, you likely feel bloated, guilty, lethargic (sudden sugar boosts cause your body to release an overdose of insulin, which makes you want to snooze until your body compensates for the influx), and just plain bad. It’s no secret that when you eat healthy food, you simply feel better. Did you know that certain foods make your mind work better?

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, fruit, nuts, beans, and whole grains have folate in them, and folate is needed for your body to produce cells. Research shows that folate is also linked to a lower risk of depression. Not only that, but the more you eat, the better off your eyes, hair, skin, nails, liver, and red blood cell production will be!

Vitamin D is a vitamin naturally produced by the sun and can be found in foods such as salmon and tuna. Some brands of milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals have Vitamin D added. Why is it so important? Rates of depression are higher in people with Vitamin D deficiency. A healthy mind creates a healthy body: Vitamin D is needed to help the body absorb calcium for strong teeth and bones, and the health of muscles and the immune system.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids may help in the treatment of depression and appear to have a mood-stabilizing effect. Omega-3s have also been found to boost the performance of conventional antidepressants. Fish such as salmon and trout are the most highly recommended sources of Omega-3s. The American Heart Association recommends eating these types of fish at least twice a week. Omega-3s can also be found in walnuts, flax or flaxseed oil, olive oil, fresh basil, and dark leafy green vegetables. Not only do Omega-3s have mental health benefits, but also aid in reducing the inflammation that causes arthritis and asthma. Omega-3s are also essential for optimal heart health.

Greatist has some delicious, healthy recipes that include many of these mind-boosting elements.

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