Eating a nutritious diet helps you keep a healthy body. It also helps reduce your risk of developing some chronic diseases. Not only can nutrition be a part of any clinical mental health treatment, but consuming foods that are packed with nutrients can also serve as a form of self-care that we can do every day to stay mentally well. New research finds that your food choices may also affect your mood and mental health.1 How does the food you consume affect you anyway? Read on.
The brain consumes more food than any other part of the body, and certain nutrients affect brain health differently. For example, some foods tend to be higher in nutrients known as "mood boosters." These foods contain mood-boosting nutrients such as:2
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin A
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Thus, these nutrients can be found mainly in vegetables and other plant-based foods. So, if you want to choose nutrition that might support your mental health, focus on your overall dietary patterns.
We have listed five kinds of foods that give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to mood-boosting nutrients and mental health.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables tend to be the best foods for brain health, particularly kale, collards, broccoli, spinach, and fresh herbs like parsley.3 You can boost your veggie intake by committing to eating a salad with your lunch and dinner, adding greens to a morning smoothie, or having frozen vegetables on hand that are easy to prepare.
You can also add pHresh greens® raw alkalizing superfood to your water if you want the easiest and most convenient way to fill the missing nutrients your body needs. Knowing the fact that it is hard and time-consuming to prepare a diet meal plan, this superfood green powder has made possible ways for you to power up your body and mental health.
pHresh greens® raw alkalizing superfood is a superfood powder packed with 16 nutrient-dense, raw vegetables, cereal grasses, and algae that were carefully selected for their highly alkalizing properties. It is the best and most efficient method to get your 3 to 4 servings of vegetables every day especially if your schedule is packed. What’s more amazing? It’s perfect for your mental health!
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they’re packed full of valuable nutrients. They are rich in nutrients that can boost brainpower. What’s more, these seeds can be easily incorporated into your diet. It only takes a small amount of these seeds to provide you with a big dose of these health-supporting essentials.4 Each seed is loaded with magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Magnesium provides your brain with the fuel it needs to facilitate learning. Studies have shown that magnesium may also help optimize memory function. Thus, there’s a link between low magnesium levels and neurological conditions such as migraines and depression.5
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. Flavonoids are a group of antioxidant plant compounds. The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers believe that these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline.6 Hence, dark chocolate has a 70% or greater cocoa content. These benefits are not seen with regular milk chocolate, which contains between 10–50% cocoa.7
Nevertheless, cacao powder has been proven to be more nutritious than cocoa powder.8 It’s vital to choose what’s way better for your health. So, better choose cacao powder when consuming chocolate during a tiring day. Thus, if you're a fan of dark chocolate, we believe you'll fall in love with our all-natural cacao powder.
pHresh Certified Organic Cacao Powder has been sourced only from the highest quality cacao beans available to deliver the most nutritious and least processed form of cacao powder. We are very proud to have accomplished a 100% Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Non-GMO, Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Ethically Sourced Premium Cacao.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Plus, vitamin C supports brain health as you age and may protect against conditions like major depressive disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.9
One of the best ways to naturally get almost all the vitamin C you need in a day is by eating one medium orange.10 It’s easy to find and affordable.
5. Chia Seeds
Each chia seed is tiny, but it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. So, it’s also good to include chia seeds in your eating plan to benefit from their high levels of omega-3s and antioxidants. These nutrients can help boost brain health. The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds give your brain the food it needs to power cell growth and thrive. Free radicals can impair brain health through a process known as oxidation. Antioxidants can help stop these free radicals in their tracks before they have a chance to negatively affect your brain. Chia seeds are loaded with powerful antioxidants that can protect your brain from harmful free radicals.11
You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory, and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet. The vegan foods listed above provide nutrition that can help you on your journey. Visit your local grocery store to purchase these healthy, gluten-free choices.
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