This is a guest post by Leslie Johnson.
While many people know that what they eat can affect their waistlines, most are unaware that particular foods can actually affect the most important muscle in their body—the brain. Working to maintain a strong and healthy brain through diet is just one of the ways you can help prevent certain mental diseases and disorders like depression and those that come with age, such as dementia. Let us have a look at top foods that can promote mental health.
Food for mental health
Omega 3 Fatty Acids. According to researchers, consuming a diet loaded with omega 3-fatty acid is one of the easiest ways to maintain a strong and healthy brain. This is because your brain, which is composed of 60 percent of fat, needs omega 3-fatty acids to help create special nerve cells that aid normal brain function. Aside from improving memory and concentration, omega-3 fatty acids can even help fight depression.
Foods high in Omega 3-Fatty Acids include: Salmon, sardines, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
H20. While your brain is comprised of 60 percent fat, it is also comprised of 90 percent water—thus it’s only natural that you need to consume plenty of water to help your brain function properly. In fact, according to researchers a lack of water (more specifically dehydration) can hinder the flow of oxygen to the brain which ultimately kills important brain cells—this can result in depression and anxiety disorders. In addition to giving your brain nourishment, water also helps wash away harmful toxins and chemicals (free radicals in the body) that can lead to mental diseases.
Tip: To reap the most benefits, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
Antioxidants. These special compounds also help ensure that our brains stay healthy and prevent any damage to our brain cells. This is because like water, antioxidants diligently work to remove free radicals in our body— more specifically free radicals that some researchers say are directly linked to dementia.
Foods high in antioxidants include: Berries, oranges, plums, pineapples, kiwi, grapefruit, tangerines, Kale, chili peppers, red cabbage, spinach, lemons, pinto beans, and soybeans.
Protein. Foods that are high in protein are also loaded with dopamine—a chemical that helps increase brain stimulation and helps fight depression. Some researchers even suggest the chemical can help with concentration and can ease ADD/ADHD symptoms.
Foods high in Protein include: Lean chicken and turkey, soy products, fish, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese, avocados, beets, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
Leslie Johnson writes about health, green living and parenting related articles.