When people talk about a healthy diet, they often mean eating foods that are beneficial to their physical health. While it is important to maintain a healthy body, you should not ignore your mental health. This has a direct effect on your physical health and quality of life, and it can be improved with the consumption of certain types of food. Here are a number of foods that can contribute to a healthier mind.
Carbohydrates from whole grains are broken down into glucose after they enter your body, and glucose is the main source of energy for your brain. However, you have to be careful with the type of carbohydrates you consume. Simple carbohydrates can have a negative effect on your mood by raising your blood sugar levels, whereas complex carbohydrates release glucose slowly and provide a steady source of energy for your brain and body. Complex carbohydrates can be found in whole wheat products, oats, wild rice, bulgur, barley, and beans.
Fish are good for the brain because they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. It has been found in studies that omega-3 fatty acids can help control mental problems such as depression, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They can promote better mood by boosting the production of neurotransmitters. Also, fish are an excellent source of uridine. Some of the cognitive benefits of uridine include the enhancement of memory, IQ and fluid intelligence, and overall brain function.
Protein is the second-most abundant substance found in the body, after carbohydrates. Protein produces a neurotransmitter called serotonin that can improve your mood and alleviate depression. Examples of foods that provide lean protein include fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, and beans.
Spinach, turnip, romaine, mustard greens, and other leafy greens are rich in folic acid and other B vitamins. Lack of vitamin B has been found to be a contributing factor to higher levels of depression and insomnia. Another type of vegetables that can enhance your mental health is broccoli, which is rich in selenium. According to some studies, selenium can be effective in controlling depression and anxiety.
If you are already following a healthy diet, you should be no stranger to the above-mentioned foods. It is just good to know that they can help improve your mental health as well.