Exercise, spending time outside in nature, and catching up with friends are all good—and well-known—ways to support your mental health. But, what you eat has a bigger impact than you may think. Health and diet are tightly entwined, and the more fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats you feed your body, the bigger boost you’ll experience. Diets like the Mediterranean Diet load up your body with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, giving it the advantages it needs to keep your mental health in good order.
The Balanced Plate
Studies have shown that what you eat directly impacts how you feel, and improving and maintaining that all-important relationship between health and diet doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, one 2015 study suggested that eating certain foods could actually prevent depression.
Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly, while including some sort of protein with every meal will give your brain a dose of amino acid that helps to regulate mood. Healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish, milk, and eggs also keep your brain running smoothly, which can help you manage your mental health more effectively.
Eating the right foods is an important step to making the health and diet connection for your body. However, making sure to eat regularly and stay hydrated are also very important. Your mental health is driven by your brain, and when you become dehydrated, your brain may slow down and not function properly. The same goes for providing it with regular nutritious meals. Skipping meals can stress your body out, and lead to a stressed brain, too.
Making even small changes to your diet and routine can pay off in a huge way when it comes to supporting your mental health. By coming up with some easy-to-implement additions to your diet, you can give yourself one more tool in the quest for good mental health.