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15 Foods To Help Improve Mental Health

15 Foods To Help Improve Mental Health

Mental Health is being discussed more and more these days, which we embrace and celebrate. But mental health doesn’t only mean feeling stable under stress or balanced when things in life go awry, it actually refers to the physical health of the brain overall.

 

1. SPICES TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH

Saffron, turmeric (curcumin), saffron plus curcumin, peppermint (for attention), cinnamon (for attention, ADHD, irritability).

2. DOPAMINE-RICH FOODS

For focus and motivation: turmeric, theanine from green tea, lentils, fish, lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, nuts and seeds (pumpkin and sesame), high protein veggies (such as broccoli and spinach), protein powders.

3. SEROTONIN-RICH FOODS

For mood, sleep, pain and craving control: Combine tryptophan-containing foods, such as eggs, turkey, seafood, chickpeas, nuts and seeds (building blocks for serotonin), with healthy carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes and quinoa, to elicit a short-term insulin response that drives tryptophan into the brain. Dark chocolate also increases serotonin.

4. GABA-RICH FOODS

For anti-anxiety: broccoli, almonds, walnuts, lentils, bananas, beef liver, brown rice, halibut, gluten-free whole oats, oranges, rice bran, spinach.

5. CHOLINE-RICH FOODS

Shrimp, eggs, scallops, sardines, chicken, turkey, tuna, cod, beef, collard greens, Brussels sprouts.

6. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Up to 8 a day helps moods.

7. GREEN TEA

8. MACA

This root vegetable/medicinal plant, native to Peru, has been shown to reduce depression.

9. OMEGA-3-RICH FOODS

To support nerve cell membranes and serotonin. Helps manage moods and inflammation.

10. ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS

Acai fruit, parsley, cocoa powder, raspberries, walnuts, blueberries, artichokes, cranberries, kidney beans, blackberries, pomegranates, chocolate, olive, and hemp oil (not for cooking at high temperatures), dandelion green and green tea.

11. MAGNESIUM-RICH FOODS

For anxiety: pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, Swiss chard, sesame seeds, beet greens, summer squash, quinoa, black beans, and cashews.

12. ZINC-RICH FOODS

Oysters, beef, lamb, spinach, shiitake and cremini mushrooms, asparagus, sesame and pumpkin seeds.

13. VITAMIN B6, B12, FOLATE-RICH FOODS

Leafy greens, cabbage, bok choy, bell peppers, cauliflower, lentils, asparagus, garbanzo beans, spinach, broccoli, parsley, cauliflower, salmon, sardines, lamb, tuna, beef, and eggs.

14. PREBIOTIC-RICH FOODS

Dandelion greens, asparagus, chia seeds, beans, cabbage, psyllium, artichokes, raw garlic, onions, leeks, root vegetables (sweet potatoes, yams, squash, jicama, beets, carrots, turnips).

15. PROBIOTIC-RICH FOODS

Brined vegetables (not vinegar), kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, miso soup, pickles, spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, kombucha tea.

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