Feed Your Brain!
Good Eating —> Good Mental Health
While the brain is one of our most important organs, we often neglect to remember that it can get sick just like your heart, liver, lungs, or kidneys.
Mental illness is a huge problem all over the world that gets dismissed and stigmatized. If you are having a mental health problem like depression, anxiety, or even more serious problems, remember that it is not a reflection of your potential or even your personality. Our brains get sick the same as any other organ, and food can help make it better.
Whether you’re anxious over an exam or you’re going through a stressful episode, you can adjust your diet to help in the healing process.
Here are some foods to help your brain heal:
Berries are great for mental health. Blue berries in particular are exalted as one of the world’s best super foods! Anthocyanin compounds found in blueberries and raspberries assist with short term memory. Berries also help prevent long term age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and Dementia or short term benefits like improved motor skills, focus, and learning capacity.
Don’t be scared of their high calorie/fat content, avocados are one of the healthiest fruits around. Just 1/4 avocado per meal helps vitamin absorption, healthy blood flow, and lowers blood pressure.
While not always the first kid picked on the dinner team, brussel sprouts are a great free radical fighter. These little green veggies help protect us against cancer and boost our immune system protecting our brain cells.
Coffee and Dark Chocolate
While these two are usually associated with unhealthy habits, small amounts of coffee and dark chocolate actually help brain health. It’s when you start adding milk and sugar to these tasty treats that they become less healthy.
Beets contain a chemical called Boron that helps us process our memories. They also help combat depression. However, make sure you’re eating fresh beets. Canned beets may contain chemicals that can disrupt hormonal cycles.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and kale are a vital staple in our diets. Their high amount of iron, folate, and other vitamins help with circulation, inflammation, preventing Alzheimer’s, improving memory, and assisting with cognitive brain functions.
Don’t “go nuts”, Eat Nuts! (and seeds!)
Walnuts, they sort of look like little brains, and they also help with brain function! Walnuts are a good source of ALAs which help with blood flow to all of your body, including your brain. They have also been proven to assist in preventing brain-aging diseases and assist in memory, learning, and motor skills.
But walnuts aren’t the only good nuts for your noggin, almonds, hazelnuts, filberts, cashews, peanuts, various nut butters, and even seeds are full of healthy fat and Vitamin E that is good for your brain.
This spicy pepper helps with pain relief and fat fighting. Eating spicy Cayenne gives your brain a boost and helps with focus.
Avoid Saturated Fats
Saturated fats have been proven to disrupt brain function and damage memory. Saturated fats are often found in meat, dairy, and egg products, but are also in vegetable shortening and anything starting with the words “partially hydrogenated.” Avoid these foods for better brain health.
Always consult a doctor if you are having unusual thoughts or tendencies. With mental illness, it is better to be on the safe side. Talk to someone you trust at the onset of unusual symptoms.