Health gurus talk about the importance of healthy food for your body, but did you know that what you eat can have an effect on your mental health too?
Although I am not a dietitian or medical provider, I often speak to my clients about the connection between our minds and bodies. That’s why I appreciated Carolyn C. Ross M.D.’s article about the importance of a healthy gut and its effects on your mental health (as reviewed below).
As you may know, the nervous system in your gut is connected to your brain through the neurotransmitters that send signals between them. Just as what you feel emotionally affects your stomach (ever felt like your stomach was tied in knots before a test?), eating brain nurturing foods keeps your gut working at its best – enabling better brain function and mental well-being.
5 Foods shown to improve your mental health
So what are the 5 top foods that help improve your mental health?
Start with fatty fish, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which your body uses to boost memory and produce neurotransmitters that affect your mood.
Up next on the menu to improve your mental health is whole grains. Your body uses glucose from whole grains to fuel itself without creating “sugar highs,” so make sure to get a healthy supply of oats and whole-wheat products.
Lean protein, such as chicken and eggs, are used to produce neurotransmitters and other chemicals that allow your cells to communicate. Increased protein in your diet can improve your cognitive abilities.
Don’t be afraid to try a new recipe for leafy greens. The nutrients in leafy greens help your body to combat fatigue, depression, and insomnia. Try a plate of spinach, broccoli, or kale to improve your mental health.
Last on the list is yogurt with live cultures. By taking a spoonful, you’ll be giving your body a natural way to fight stress and anxiety as yogurt contains probiotics that have been shown to reduce stress hormones.
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