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Eat Your Way to Better Mental Health

Many people don’t realise it, but your diet has a major impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing. If you’re lacking certain nutrients, for example, it can exacerbate feels of anxiety or depression. Similarly, some food intolerances can also affect how you think and feel. If you want to enhance your emotional well-being, take a look at the foods that can help you to eat your way to better mental health:

1. Yoghurt

Unless you have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, yoghurt can significantly enhance your mental well-being. The brain-gut connection links our gut health to brain function, which means optimising good bacteria in your gut can change and improve your mental health.

The probiotics present in live cultures are great for gut health and you’ll find plenty of them in yoghurt. Just make sure you choose natural, live yoghurt so that you’re getting the full benefit.

2. Turkey

If you want to reduce anxiety and aid relaxation, you’ll be looking for foods high in tryptophan, like turkey. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that’s involved in the production and transmission of mood-regulator, serotonin. It also plays a role in melatonin production, which is why you often feel sleepy after a meal.

However, tryptophan isn’t the only food known to promote relaxation. Chamomile, luxury vegan cbd sweets and even dark chocolate can help to minimise anxiety too. Similarly, avoiding large amounts of caffeine can also help to avoid nervousness and anxiety.

3. Salmon and Oily Fish

Oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain development. EPA and DHA, in particular, are omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to optimum brain function. Many people with depression or anxiety find that changing their diet to include more omega-3 fatty acids has a positive impact on their mental well-being.

4. Whole grains

When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s easy to reach for the nearest carbs. However, carbohydrates are converted into glucose by the body, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels. However, whole grains are complex carbs, which means they take longer for the body to breakdown and help to stave off cravings. What’s more – they’re also high in tryptophan, so they can help to promote the melatonin and serotonin production.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil, and healthy fats in general, can boost your brainpower and leave you feeling more positive. It contains important antioxidants, which can protect the brain from damage by free radicals, and it also contains relatively high levels of vitamins E and K, which both offer brain benefits.

Embracing a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet can help to maintain optimal physical and emotional well-being. By consuming a wide variety of foods and eschewing processed or high-sugar options, you can ensure that your mind and body has all the nutrients it needs to thrive.

While a healthy diet should never replace treatment for mental health conditions, it can certainly be used in conjunction with other measures to reduce unwanted symptoms and boost your mood.

Louise Mercieca

Nutritional Therapist

Personal Trainer

Award-winning Author

Food writer

Presenter on Early Years TV Food

Keynote speaker

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