1. Fermented foods
That tangy kimchi at your local Korean restaurant is more than just a pretty side dish. A Harvard paper says that about 95% of our serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps mediate moods and sleep.
So ditch that doughnut. Yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut and other pro-biotics found in traditional Eastern diets can keep you in a balanced, good mood.
2. Raw vegetables and fruit
This one’s a no-brainer. Your parents insist you finish your greens for a reason. But if that’s not good enough, here’s some science-backed research.
Walnuts are another super-food for mental health, thanks to its high content of Omega-3. That means it’s good for us at all ages to grow, develop and maintain healthy cognitive functions.
Antioxidants are great for your skin, hair and cell regeneration. You probably already know this if you’re a health-conscious eater. But did you know that these antioxidants have also been found to assist in improving symptoms associated with anxiety and depression?
Blueberries and strawberries also contain a compound called polyphenolics, which have been found to improve memory, concentration and attention span.
We all know what happens when we’re tired and hungry- we get cranky.
“Beans and legumes (chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans, for example) keep you fuller for longer, keeping your blood sugar stable and enabling you to burn more energy,” according to the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association.
This really helps us have much more stable moods! Instead of eating heavy carbs or refined grains that take your sugar levels on a roller coaster ride, try and include more protein and slow burn carbs into your diet.
So a balanced diet with greens, beans, nuts and more should help boost our energy levels and in turn, our moods.
Sounds easy enough? Of course we all have moments where we cave in and order that greasy Chinese takeout. So, what’s the difference between comfort eating and indulging yourself a little? That’s another story.
Stay tuned for more on that on the Wysa page this week.
Source: Harvard Health, Psychology Today, Brain HQ, Australia & NZ Mental Health Association