Healthy eating has always been associated with losing weight and improving your physique when in reality, healthy eating also helps improve mental health. Studies have found that adolescents and young people who follow a healthy diet are about 50% less likely to have depression compared to those with a high junk and processed foods diet, who are 80% more likely to have depression.
Diet is linked to the hippocampus, which is a key area of the brain involved in learning, memory, and mental health. People with healthy eating habits have a higher hippocampal volume than those with unhealthy diets.
Healthy Eating Diet
A healthy diet includes a full range of vegetables, fruits, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, and beans), fish, chicken, whole grains (rice, quinoa, oats, bread, etc.), nuts, avocados, and olive oil to support a healthy brain.
It has been found that people who have a high diet in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, fish and unsaturated fats (like olive oil) are 35% less likely to develop depression rather than people who eat less of these foods. People who suffered from depression experienced full relief of their symptoms after improving their diet.
The experts at India Gate provide a breakdown guide on certain foods which help improve mental health.
Foods That Improve Mental Health
A favorite amongst the people of this region, this spice mixture is a blend of sesame seeds, sumac, oregano, and thyme. This is why it is extremely good for the brain since both oregano and thyme contain a compound called carvalo, which helps in boosting the brain cells.
This grain, which is popular among people who focus on healthy eating, is known to be rich in Iron and other essential nutrients. Iron plays a very important role, due to its basis of hemoglobin formation and transportation of oxygen to and from different cells. The brain often takes up 20 percent of the total blood oxygen thus triggering its functions.
Other benefits of the Quinoa Iron include the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are of great aid in brain chemical balance. Riboflavin (B2) is essential in boosting energy metabolism within the brain cells, this is another reason quinoa is great for you, as it has high levels of B2.
Chia seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fats. Studies have continually revealed that low levels of omega-3 fats in the body can cause a host of emotional and mental disorders. Such fats are essential in fighting against mood swings and depression. Therefore, the continuous use of Chia seeds will help in improving and stabilizing your brains performance.
As surprising as it might be, chicken is great for your physical and mental health. This is because it is high in protein as well as a great dietary source of choline, vitamin B6 and B12. All these play an important role in brain health and neuroprotection, and a great addition to your healthy eating habits.
Flax seeds are considered to be equivalent or similar to sunflower seeds as you can also extract oil from them. The flax seed oil is rich in nutrients like omega-3 fats. Apart from that, they have numerous benefits, some of which include a healthy heart and improved skin health.
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Sprouted Brown Rice
Produced by removing the outermost hull, sprouted brown rice is one of the grains that contain high levels of nutrients. It has a surplus in Gamma-Amino butyric Acids (GABA) which is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.
Additionally, this rice is also rich in enzymes and antioxidants. Attributed to its composition, sprouted brown rice is a preferred option for boosting brain activity. Scientific findings have also revealed that GABA, alongside certain antioxidants, works as an anti-depressant.
A meal plan is merely capable of altering the cognitive functions of a human brain. In these terms, a person’s brain performance will always remain to be indicative of the type of foods consumed over time. Nevertheless, regular intake of any or all of the above superfoods will gradually improve your brain activity. The quality of the food you eat can impact your overall physical and mental health. Healthy eating can go a long way toward achieving a healthy lifestyle, so make every bite count.