Food has a huge impact on your mental health and well-being. The Mental health foundation shows how food is fundamental to the functioning of our brain and certain foods can affect it in a negative way. A balanced diet including plenty of protein, vegetables and healthy fats provides our brains with the nutrients it requires. However, certain foods can temporarily alter our mood or prevent its conversion into essential nutrients. This can negatively impact our mental functioning. It is important to choose food that can boost our moods, provide us with slow release energy and help us think clearly. Here are some of the best foods that you can eat for your mental health!
The brain needs fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6 to function properly. While many people believe fats are bad, we do need them - it’s just about selecting the right foods. Poultry such as chicken which contains lots of the important fatty acids, can provide the basis of many delicious meals. Check out our roast chicken recipe - perfect for the upcoming autumn roasts.
As well as being another source of healthy fats, nuts are anti-inflammatory foods which help you feel better both physically and mentally by reducing inflammation in the body. They also contain many antioxidants and nutrients, such as Vitamin E, which keep your brain healthy.
It is essential that your gut is kept healthy because it is a primary source of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel happy. Corey Tolbert, a dietitian at Cancer Wellness, says that your gut is like your ‘second brain’. Probiotics, such as those found in yoghurt, contain strains of bacteria that are great for the effective functioning of your gut. We recently released three recipes using Court Lodge Organic live drinking yogurt, to help incorporate more probiotics into your diet.
Fruit and vegetables are also essential for healthy gut functioning. Many fruits, such as tomatoes, also provide phytonutrients that build up your immune system. Phytochemicals such as lycopene, help reduce inflammation and are beneficial for conditions related to oxidative stress.
Mushrooms are great for mental health as they lower your susceptibility to anxiety disorders, bipolar affective disorder and many more. They are ‘adaptogenic’ which means they help us cope with life’s daily stresses, both in the physical and emotional sense. They contain vitamins and antioxidants that support gut health and may have healing properties that could prevent mental diseases such as alzheimer's.