Eating Well for Mental Health
Stress and Depression
A Healthy Gut
- Complex Carbohydrates: These are your brain’s go-to source for energy. We’re talking about the good stuff like brown rice and hearty starchy veggies. Foods like quinoa, millet, beets, and sweet potatoes pack a nutritional punch and keep you feeling full and focused way longer than the quick rush you get from simple carbs found in sugary snacks.
- Lean Proteins: Think of these as your brain’s power-up button. They provide the energy your brain needs to think and react at lightning speed. Load up on chicken, beef, fish, eggs, soybeans, nuts, and seeds – these are all dynamite sources of quality protein.
- Fatty Acids: These guys are like the VIPs of brain and nervous system health. They’re super important for keeping everything running smoothly up there. You’ll find them in fish, meat, eggs, nuts, and flaxseeds.
Healthy Eating Tips
- Steer clear of processed snack foods, such as potato chips, which can impair your ability to concentrate. Pass up sugar-filled snacks, such as candy and soft drinks, which lead to ups and downs in energy levels.
- Consume plenty of healthy fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil and avocado. This will support your brain function.
- Have a healthy snack when hunger strikes, such as fruit, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, baked sweet potatoes or edamame. This will give you more energy than packaged products.
- Develop a healthy shopping list and stick to it.
- Don’t shop while hungry, since you’ll be more apt to make unhealthy impulse purchases.
- Think about where and when you eat. Don’t eat in front of the television, which can be distracting and cause you to overeat. Instead, find a place to sit, relax and really notice what you’re eating. Chew slowly. Savor the taste and texture.
Just a heads up, it’s all about finding that sweet spot. A little treat here and there is cool, but sticking to these brain-boosting foods most of the time can seriously level up your mental game.