The past few decades have altered the way the world thinks – there is much more acceptance, empathy, and affirmation. Things that were considered taboo are now being discussed rather openly, and fortunately, mental health is one of those topics. Many people are voicing their concerns about mental health issues, which has allowed society to acknowledge that it’s more than distress, overthinking, and temporary phases of sadness.
There has been an influx of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and the on-going coronavirus pandemic has added fuel to the fire. The uncertainty, lockdown, social distancing, and isolation have created a disconnect from the usual, everyday life, which has adversely impacted the mental health of millions, worldwide.
While there’s nothing much to do in terms of social activities, we can still improve our diet to keep our well-being and mental health intact.
Food tends to have a direct impact on our mood, thoughts, and feelings. Eating foods that contain serotonin, a neurotransmitter, can elevate and regulate sleep and mood swings.
We have listed essential foods that you can incorporate into your daily life to contribute to your mental health and well-being positively. Keep on reading!
Fish is generally considered a healthy food choice, and Salmon tops the list. Salmon is a fatty fish rich in a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that omega-3s are responsible for alleviating the symptoms of mental disorders like depression and can boost the overall cognitive system and memory. Moreover, Salmon is also rich in Vitamin D, which is associated with lowering the intensity of depression. Fish like tuna, mackerel, and herring can also be helpful.
Glucose is the primary source of energy for the brain and body functions. Glucose intake through carbohydrates is essential as complex carbohydrates tend to break down slowly and stay in the bloodstream for extended periods.
Healthy sources of complex carbohydrates are whole-wheat products, such as beans, soy, barley, and wild rice. Their consumption makes us feel fuller, providing a reliable fuel source for the brain and helping us stay positive throughout the day.
Undoubtedly, a great and delicious lean-protein choice, chicken contains the amino acid tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin. It boosts overall mood, curtails depressive thoughts, and improves memory function. Chicken intake also helps in staying positive and productive.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Seeds and nuts are a profound source of nutrition for the body; they’re rich in vitamins and healthy fats that keep the body active and productive. They are perfect for snacking and keeping the body and mind healthy.
Fermented foods or food with active cultures like yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, and pickled vegetables affect the same parts of the brain as certain anti-depressants. Increased intake helps with the overall well-being.
These foods consist of probiotics and healthy bacteria that help reduce anxiety levels and stress hormones by affecting the neurotransmitter GABA, which positively influences our mood and emotions. GABA produces hormones that tend to make us feel happy and relaxed.