4 Foods for Mental Health
Food can be a powerful tool for people struggling with mental health. While there is no magic food or nutrient that will cure it, incorporating the right produce, nuts and seafood can have a major impact.
Here are 4 foods that can help boost your overall mood:
1. Cold-water seafood
Cold-water fish, like salmon, is key for mental wellness thanks to all the omega-3 fats they contain. Researchers identified eating a high quantity of omega-3-rich foods as a top habit for preventing depression. Another type of omega-3 fat found in cold-water fish, DHA, is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. Examples of cold-water seafood high in omega-3 fats are sardines, tuna, trout, oysters, and mussels.
2. Nuts, especially walnuts
Nuts, in particular, walnuts are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and numerous studies have shown how omega-3 fatty acids support brain function and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Another benefit to nuts is that they're a great source of unsaturated fat and research suggests that people who eat more unsaturated fat (and less saturated fat) are less likely to have anxiety.
Tiny and tasty, berries are powerful allies for your mental health. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of the highest antioxidant foods available to us. People who eat more berries are more likely to have better mental health compared to those who don’t consume them, according to a 2020 review study in Nutrients.
Researchers reported that berry eaters had better moods and fewer depressive symptoms, and their happiness levels were higher!
4. Dark leafy greens
Some of the most nutrient-dense foods of all include dark, leafy greens. Examples include spinach, kale, and swiss chard. Not only do these greens have powerful immune-boosting and anticancer effects, but they are also linked to fighting depression. According to a study published by JAMA Psychiatry, severe depression has been linked with brain inflammation. Leafy greens are especially important because they contain oodles of vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals, and phytochemicals which fight against all kinds of inflammation.
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