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Most likely, you’ve heard eating well improves the health of your heart and reduces your risk of developing diabetes or certain types of cancers, but what about taking care of your mind? Adding a few key mind-enriching foods to your diet may boost your mood and reduce symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders. Start your day out with eating breakfast which will help improve your mood, memory, give you more energy throughout the day, and provide more feelings of calmness.
Ashley Thorson, Director of Food and Nutrition at Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Davidson finds that “patients improve their mood and boost their energy from eating a nutritionally balanced, healthy meal. We all need to be aware of what we are consuming because we will truly feel better by eating those foods proven to improve our health.”
Here are some foods with mind-boosting nutrients:
|Spinach, kale, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains||Folic acid||Lowers risk of depression|
|Salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, fresh basil and green leafy vegetables||Omega-3s||Have a mood-stabilizing effect and are helpful in the treatment of depression|
|Salmon and tuna (have naturally occurring vitamin D) and milk, OJ and cereals (have vitamin D added)||Vitamin D||Lack of vitamin D is associated with depression|
|Pumpkin seeds||Tryptophan (an amino acid)||Aids in production of serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter|
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental illness or substance use disorder, or for more information about behavioral health resources in your area, please call our Behavioral Health Help Line at 704-444-2400 or 800-418-2065. Our staff of masters-level mental health professionals and registered nurses, are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.