Foods for Improving Mental Health

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. The food we put into our body affects our mood and overall mental health. According to a new research, the more raw fruits and veggies you eat, the lower your risk of depression and mental illness. Here, Sasha Bayat, nutritionist and co-founder of The Bodhi, outlines 10 foods that improve mental health.

  1. Carrots – beta carotene in carrots help boost brain health and memory. They are efficient in reducing stress in the brain and increases feelings of positivity, happiness and stress free. It is great to pair carrots with fats because the beta carotene cannot be absorbed nearly as well as it is when in the presence of fats (avocados or oils).
  2. Bananas – tryptophan in bananas increase moods and reduce depression and anxiety. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and vitamin B6 regulates healthy sleeping.
  3. Apples – the apple skin has up to two to six times the antioxidants as the flesh. They are also high in fiber.
  4. Dark leafy greens (spinach or kale) – these type of leafy greens help fight against brain inflammation and contain an abundance of vitamins A, C, E and K, minerals, and phytochemicals.
  5. Grapefruit – rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. This vitamin helps to reduce cortisol and bring feelings of calm and relaxing.
  6. Lettuce – abundant in folate and vitamin B6. A deficiency in folate is linked to anxiety and depression. Vitamin B6 is important to help your body create serotonin.
  7. Citrus fruits – helps fight cognitive decline, elevate moods and induce relaxation. Fruits with magnesium, like oranges, help fight depression and anxiety.
  8. Fresh berries – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are loaded with antioxidants that help to fix and rebuild cells.
  9. Cucumber – full of vitamin B that reduces PMS symptoms, depression and anxiety. Cucumbers help to balance hormones with this vitamin to decrease stress.
  10. Kiwifruit – contains tryptophan which boosts the body’s serotonin and fights anxiety and stress. Also, enriched in vitamin C.

 

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