Helping News                                                   September, 2019   Issue 136

Build a Healthy Diet for Your Mental Health

To be as healthy as possible, it helps to include lots of so-called “power foods” in your diet. “Most of the evidence for brain health suggests a Mediterranean Diet,” Elkrief points out. That means a wide array of deeply-colored fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, seafoods and fermented foods, all super sources of vitamins, minerals, fibers, healthy carbs and fats, beneficial bacteria, and plant proteins. A high-quality diet rich in these types of foods helps keep you physically and mentally sound by providing protection against symptoms of chronic conditions like heart disease, depression and anxiety.

Zero in on These Brain Boosters

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, nuts, and seeds help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Spices like turmeric may also reduce symptoms of depression by reducing brain inflammation. Yogurt, fresh sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi are fermented foods containing “good bacteria” that add balance to the naturally occurring bacteria in your gut known as the microbiome. The microbiome plays a role in brain development, behavior, and mood.  A diet rich in fruits and veggies is associated with higher levels of happiness. And if you need a treat after all that healthy eating, dark chocolate has been found to reduce symptoms of stress. 

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