Top 5 Foods For Improved Mental Health
- Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are a rich and potent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Most American diet plans are however do not contain these essential foods, meaning you don’t get eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and essential nutrients that the human body cannot synthesize. With our brains mainly made up of fatty cells, the human body only relies on the foods we eat for replenishment. This is why you including fatty fish to your diet plan would be a wise idea.
Omega-5 fatty acids are mostly beneficial for they help in the production of neurotransmitters, serotonin, and dopamine. These acids also come in handy in boosting memory and learning, as well as support brain synapses. Some of the best sources of omega fatty acids include seaweed, sardines, herring, salmon, chicken fed on walnuts and flaxseeds, and most other seafood. Having the recommended daily allowance of omega-3s helps reduce symptoms of mental disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and ADHD.
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- Whole Grains
The brain relies on glucose to fuel all its process. Carbohydrates are the primary source of glucose, hence recommended for better brain health. Only complex carbs are recommended for optimal performance and health. This is because simple carbohydrates only create a spike in blood sugar levels leading to low mood and undesirable reactions. Complex carbs work by releasing glucose slowly to the bloodstream thus proving a steady supply of glucose and energy for the body and most importantly, the brain. Some of the healthy sources of complex carbs include beans, barley, wild rice, oats, soy, bulgur, and whole wheat products.
- Lean Proteins
Most of the foods we eat are digested and broken down into smaller compounds needed to fuel both the body, neurotransmitters, and other bodily processes. In addition to requiring a steady supply of glucose (energy), body cells still need amino acids to regenerate and for growth. Commonly referred to as bodybuilding foods, proteins are needed for the production of serotonin a neurotransmitter.
Unbalanced levels of serotonin almost always lead to depression. Keeping the levels balanced however helps avoid this by curbing depression and improving cognitive functions. Some of the best sources of lean proteins include turkey, fish, beans, and eggs. Having these every day should help keep your brain healthy and alert.
- Green Leafy Vegetables
Many people didn’t know of the benefits of spinach until Popeye. Green leafy veggies are particularly high in folic acid, B vitamins, and several essential minerals. Turnips, spinach, romaine, and mustard seeds are some of the best veggies to have if dealing with insomnia, fatigue, and depression.
Broccoli is another excellent source of selenium, one of the minerals needed for reproductive health, immune system functioning, and metabolism of thyroid hormone. Studies are showing that selenium deficiency could cause anxiety, fatigue, and depression. You can also get selenium from onions, chicken, walnuts, nuts, whole-grain products, and seafood.
- Yogurt and Fermented Foods
Yogurt and fermented foods contain probiotics. Probiotics are commonly referred to as healthy bacteria for they help keep the digestive system healthy. Fermented foods such as tempeh, kimchi, kefir, and pickled vegetables are rich in these healthy bacteria. Probiotics are also linked to reducing the effects of GABA, a neurotransmitter, thus fighting stress and anxiety hormones. You may want to avoid processed foods, or too many of them to ensure a balance of healthy bacteria.