Mental Health awareness has come far over the years, with people learning the concept of caring for their minds just as much as their bodies! We have always known the harmful effects that a poor diet could have on our overall physical health, but it can have just as much of an effect on our mental health. It is important to take care of every part of ourselves, and that includes the food we put inside of our bodies.
What foods are bad for your mental health?
No surprise here, and though sugary sweet treats might make you feel good at the moment, sugar is not good for your mental health. The amount of white refined sugars used in our foods can cause long-lasting, harmful health effects. Too much sugar in your diet can lead your body and mind to crash, which can leave you in an emotional downward spiral. You don’t have to illuminate sugar from your diet completely, just stay away from bleached, non-natural sugars.
Again, no surprise here. Caffeine can be naturally found in teas and coffee, but too much coffee can be bad for your mental health. Your body and mind begin relying on it in order to function and be energized. Small amounts of caffeine can boost your mood, but too much leaves you jittery and anxious.
Salami, deli meats, prosciutto, etc…although we all love them and cannot imagine a charcuterie without them, they are extremely processed meats that are filled with toxins that can be negative for your mental health.
What foods are good for your mental health?
1. Fiber-rich foods
Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of naturally occurring sugars, but they also contain a ton of fiber which helps slow down the processing of the sugar, aka no big sugar rush! (Which is how refined sugar really affects your mental state). Some fiber-rich food options are broccoli, avocado, pears, lentils, artichokes…and so many more delicious foods!
2. Antioxidant-rich foods
There’s a reason they call them superfoods. Antioxidant-rich foods contain so many amazing benefits for your body and can provide those same benefits for your mind. You can find high levels of antioxidants in acai, blueberries, salmon, leafy greens, etc.
Fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, or miso contain high levels of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacterias that can be very helpful in aiding digestion.
4.Foods high in Vitamin D
Just like Vitamin D from sunlight puts you in a better mood, foods that are high in Vitamin D can help provide similar effects. Mushrooms, fortified orange juice (and almond milk), tuna, salmon, cheese, eggs, are just a few foods that provide lots of Vitamin D!