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Eating Healthy to Feel Good

We have all been told that good physical health can lead to good mental health. I want to present some recommendations that will shed more light on this subject and can help you in taking steps to manage your mental health by improving your physical health. Today we are going to look at how your diet can play a part in your mental health.

What you eat can affect the production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which help your brain regulate your mood, sleep, and appetite. Foods that are rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are also linked to lower rates of depression. Avoid foods rich in sugar and simple carbs as these foods lead to energy spikes and crashes that leave you feeling exhausted. Here are some foods that can provide these benefits and boost your mental and physical health:

  1. Whole Grain Foods: Whole wheat, oats, brown rice, beans, and soy are whole grain foods and are rich with complex carbs which are preferable to simple carbs. Your body will take longer to produce glucose from these foods. This means that the energy that you get from them will be a steady supply rather than a sudden spike that leads to a later crash. They also help the brain absorb the amino acids used to produce serotonin.
  2. Leafy Greens: Foods like spinach, kale, broccoli, romaine and mustard greens are rich in folic acid which has been shown to reduce depression, fatigue and insomnia.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Rich Foods: These include Salmon, Sardines, Flax seed and Walnuts are used by your brain to produce the neurotransmitters that it needs to function in a healthy manner. Salmon is also rich in vitamin D.
  4. Other helpful foods: Chicken contains the amino acid tryptophan, which promotes the production of serotonin. Yogurt is a great source of probiotics which have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Avocados are rich in vitamin K and folate which help improve concentration and memory.

With these changes to your diet, you have begun to help your body and brain feel healthy and less fatigued, which will help you feel better too.