Being an utterly paranoid mother of two, the significant increase in mental disorders such as depression and anxiety (especially among youngsters) freaks me out!
A lot of research studies lately have directly associated the cure to mental disorders (such as anxiety) to the consumption of a well-balanced diet and proper nutrition. I was baffled at first since the only known and supposedly ‘effective’ treatment to any mental disorder (depression, ADHD) to me was antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, and such. The more I engrossed myself in scholarly articles and TED talks, the more I realised how we’ve got it all wrong!
As much as an antidepressant may seem like the only viable solution to PTSD, ADHD, or anxiety, give these superfoods that are excellent for your mental health a try. They definitely have a more long-lasting impact on our physical and mental health and reduce the intensity of the disorder (if any).
Here’s a list of some of the most amazing superfoods that are awesome for your mental health.
We all love fish, and since it is often referred to as ‘brain food’, let me explain the miraculous wonders of a fatty acid present in fish known as the DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). Being an Omega-3 fatty acid, DHA boosts short-term and long-term memory, thereby positively impacting your brain health considerably. Fish is also a tried-and-tested edible solution to reducing anxiety levels in humans and what’s more? It’s so delish you can incorporate it in your meals twice a day!
This wondrous food item has been a regular in my diet for the last 5 years or so! I used to thank the universe for the miraculous powers of probiotics present in yoghurt, however, I recently learned that it does way more than just helping an upset stomach. Due to the brain-gut connection, yoghurt has been repeatedly found to have reduced stress, depression, and anxiety levels in people, thereby significantly contributing to their mental health!
If you’re looking for THE ideal fix for healthy snacking, berries are the solution! They are also a great source of antioxidants that substantially help reduce inflammation caused due to free radicals present in pollutants, cigarette smoke, etc. Strawberries, raspberries, also contain the element – polyphenolics – which have been found to help with memory, attention span, and concentration in people. Happy snacking, peeps!
Green leafy vegetables
‘Finish your greens’ – said every mother ever in the history of the universe! According to a Neurology study published recently, people including a lot of green leafs such as kale, spinach, fenugreek leaves, in their diet had a relatively slow rate of cognitive degeneration as compared to people who consciously avoided them. The many many health benefits offered by greens over generations are testimonial to their wondrous properties.
Shaped literally like a brain, this miraculous food from the family of nuts is rich with antioxidants – meaning it helps inhibit oxidation in your body and brain. Moreover, walnuts are known for building new neurons which essentially means you’re getting new brain cells just by snacking on them! Brain cell formation is a paramount aspect of good mental health, so people, incorporate walnuts in your diet on a regular basis.
I tried something called the ‘Mediterranean Diet’ that worked like a spell! Here’s what I did:
- I got my daily starch fix from whole grains, pulses, and legumes.
- I filled up on an abundance of colourful vegetables (included a lot of bell peppers, brussels sprouts, corn, asparagus) and fruits.
- I only consumed oily (or fatty) fish like tuna or salmon instead of meat.
- I completely cut down on sweets and reduced the consumption of wine (half a glass only) to once a week.
- I patched things up with healthy fats (such as olive oil and raw nuts) and broke up with food items that had trans fat (cookies, frozen food, pizza, etc.).
Foods that you should completely avoid in order to cultivate good mental health:
- Saturated fats
‘You are what you eat’ – has never resonated with me as much as it does now! If you have been feeling slightly off lately, note the kind of diet you have been indulging in and make some changes with these amazing superfoods for your mental health!
If you guys want to share your thoughts on the type of foods that positively affect mental health, please do so in the comments section below!