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Mental Health Diet: Here Are The Foods You Should Eat For Lesser Stress, Anxiety And Better Brain Function

Diet for mental health: Mediterranean diet has been found to be effective in improving mental health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be helpful too. Here's everything you should know.

Mental Health Diet: Here Are The Foods You Should Eat For Lesser Stress, Anxiety And Better Brain Function

Nuts and seeds are can be good for your mental health


  1. Eat walnuts for better mental health
  2. Fatty fish can be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety
  3. Probiotics in yogurt are considered to be beneficial for gut health

Diet for mental health: What you eat has a direct impact on both your mental and physical health. And in order to find out the degree of influence of diet on mental health, researchers reviewed existing research into nutrition and mental health. They concluded that nutrition does have an impact on mental health, but there are gaps that need to be filled regarding this information. Findings of the study are published in journal European Neuropsychopharmacology. Like every other organ in the body, the brain too needs nutrients to function, researchers agree. They also agreed that the diet affects mood and directly influences factors like gut bacteria, cognitive function, neurotansmitters, hormones and neuropeptides.

Numerous studies have been done previously, which talk about the relationship between certain nutrients and mental health. However, the reviewers say that this type of study may not be able to determine if food itself is what influences mental health. Studies have also found that the popular Mediterranean diet can benefit mental health.


Consuming a healthy diet can be good for both your mental and physical health
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Best Yoga Asanas To Boost Mental Health

Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The diet involves eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Followers of the diet are supposed to vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats on a daily basis. The diet also involves weekly consumption of beans, eggs, poultry and fish. Dairy products need to be consumed in moderate portions and intake of red meat needs to be limited.

Also, sharing meals with family and friends, being physically active and enjoying a glass of red wine are other important elements of Mediterranean diet, which has been found to be good for mental health.

Following are other foods that can be beneficial for your mental health:

1. Walnuts

Nuts and seeds, which are even a part of Mediterranean diet, have been found to be beneficial for mental health. Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts in the family. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help in keeping the brain healthy. Walnuts also contain a variety of antioxidants that offer protection to the body from free radicals.


Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can be beneficial for brain health
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Eat Walnuts Daily: 10 Amazing Health Benefits You Cannot Afford To Miss

2. Berries

Berries like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are all rich in antioxidants. They help in repairing cells and fighting inflammation which is caused by free radicals in the body. Antioxidants in berries can also be helpful in reducing depression and anxiety.

3. Fatty fish

Just like walnuts, fatty fish is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, mackerel, tuna an sardines contain DHA, a type pf omega-3 fatty acid, which can help in improving memory and also give a boost to brain health. Apart from brain health, omega-3s are also good for heart health.


Fatty fish like salmon is good for your brain and heart health
Photo Credit: iStock

4. Yogurt

Probiotics in yogurt are considered to be beneficial for digestive and gut health. According to a new study, probiotics can also impact a person's mental health. The connection between brain and the gut may be a possible explanation to this. Probiotics have also been associated with reducing anxiety, stress and depression.

Also read: Yogurt For Hair: 6 Best Ways To Use Yogurt For Shiny Hair

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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