When thinking about how to eat healthier this year, I decided to do some research into foods that have a positive impact on mental health. After all, it only makes sense to try and add more of them to my diet, right?
To be honest, when I started looking into this, I was expecting the list to be filled with things I wouldn’t want to eat. You know – all the foods that are healthy but I don’t like the taste of. Sure there were some of those things on the list, but I was surprised to find some foods on the list that I really enjoy. The most interesting article I found was from Healthline and definitely has me considering how much sugar I consume (directly and indirectly).
However, I'm not quite ready to give up the sugar entirely so I thought I would share 5 of the yummy options I found that I can add into my diet, in the hopes that it might help you too.
Bananas are a good source of serotonin, magnesium, and vitamin B6 (which helps the body produce serotonin). In addition to this, eating a banana in the evening may also help you sleep better – and I don’t know about you but a good night’s sleep plays a huge role in my mood.
In 2016, a study was conducted that showed that consuming blueberries increases both serotonin and a biochemical known as SKA2, which led to improvement in depression and suicidal tendencies linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Have you ever noticed that walnuts look a little bit like little brains? I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Walnuts are a good source of fatty omega 3 oils, which, according to this article in the Overcoming Anxiety Blog, have been shown to improve communication between cells, resulting in the movement of dopamine and serotonin in our brain cells being increased – and that’s a win, right?
Another food that has been found to help with mental health is live yogurt – you know the kind that has healthy probiotic bacteria. Imagine that – those little bacteria have been found to reduce stress and anxiety.
If you enjoy the taste of dark chocolate as much as I do, you might be happy to hear that it has been shown to help with depression! I know for me putting a piece in my mouth and feeling it melt makes me feel happier, but apparently its not just that – there is actual science behind it – it contains phenylethylamine which increases the release of dopamine.
it isIs it just me, or do you have a sudden craving for banana bread too?