Best Foods For Your Mental Health

Your mental health is important at every stage in your life, and the foods that you eat can affect how you feel every day. So, we have a few nutritional foods that can help you stay physically and psychologically healthy.

Drinks

  • Coffee has been known to help decrease depressive thoughts and helps protect individuals from Parkinson’s disease.
  • If you want to cut out the caffeine, try caffeine-free teas. Tea is full of antioxidants to help protect against cancers; some teas also contain amino acids that can induce relaxation without drowsiness.
  • Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water or sugarless tea to prevent dehydration. Studies suggest that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and headaches.

Breakfast

  • Don’t skip breakfast! Try to add mind and body fueling nutrition. Add bananas to your oatmeal or top your pancakes with them. Bananas are rich with vitamins and minerals and are high in folic acid. Folic acid is known to lower the risk of depression and it is especially important for red blood cell production.

  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are also great to add to your breakfast and they have the same effects as bananas. Citrus fruits are also packed with vitamin c, which is known to help boost immunity.
  • Add kale and spinach to your morning routine, either in your scrambled eggs or in your smoothie. Leafy greens like kale, raw spinach, and arugula are very low in calories and are full of folic acid. They are high in fiber and vitamin k, which reduces inflammation.
  • Eggs are brain food! Eggs are packed with protein, vitamin B12, and lutein, which is an antioxidant that may help reduce eye disorders.

Lunch and Dinner

  • You want to avoid high-fat dairy and fried foods, instead try to focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. People who eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with omega 3’s are up to 30 percent less likely to develop depression, compared to those who consume large amounts of red meats and dairy products.
  • Add legumes, beans, and lentils to your meal. This is another excellent source of folic acids, which decreases the effects of depression and are another great protein and fiber source. Beans also have potassium and iron that can help the body carry oxygen to the brain and boost nerve function.
  • Asparagus and broccoli can help improve memory. Asparagus is full of magnesium, which helps dilate blood vessels and broccoli has vitamin k.
  • Try to eat more fish and flaxseed. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is known to lower blood pressure and help repair cells.

 

To jumpstart your brain-boosting diet, we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes below:

Egg Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 whole wheat English muffin
  • 1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese
  • 1 slice tomato
  • 3 baby spinach leaves

Directions

  1. Fry 1 egg in olive oil.
  2. Fill English muffin with cheese, tomato, spinach, and the egg.

 

Better Brain Salad

Ingredients

Ginger honey dressing:

  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the salad:

  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked beets, diced
  • 2 (4-ounce) salmon fillets, cooked

Directions

  1. Place ginger, apple cider vinegar, honey, avocado oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and water in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Place spinach, avocado, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and beets in a large bowl. Toss with honey ginger dressing.
  3. Transfer mixed salad onto plates and top with cooked salmon.

See original recipe, here.

 

Hearty Sprouted Lentil and Kale Stew

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 10-ounce package sprouted green lentils
  • 1 bunch Tuscan (Lacinato) kale, tough stems removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent about 3 minutes. Stir the garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes, if using, and saute, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, the tomatoes and their juices, and the lentils, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened for about 25 minutes. Stir in the kale and simmer over low heat until wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve in bowls with bread.

See original recipe, here.


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