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Foods known to improve mental health

Foods known to improve mental health Foods known to improve mental health (photo: Freepik)

Nutrition has an important impact on our mental health. A healthy diet can help prevent depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. A public health consultant at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine told us which foods are good for the brain, and therefore mental health, and which ones are best avoided.

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil. These foods contain beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and vitamin B.

Studies have shown that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have a 30% lower risk of developing depression than those who eat a lot of processed foods and saturated fats.

Fats

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as Omega-3, are good for mental health. They help reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.

Trans fats, on the other hand, are harmful to mental health. They can increase the risk of depression and other mental disorders.

Fish oil

Fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, can help prevent depression, anxiety, and psychotic disorders.

Berries

Berries contain antioxidants that can help protect the brain from damage. Studies have shown that berries can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia.

Red meat

Unprocessed red meat can be good for mental health. It contains iron, zinc, and other nutrients that are important for brain function. However, it is important to choose red meat that is low in saturated fat.

Coffee

Coffee contains caffeine, which can improve mood and focus. Studies have shown that coffee can reduce the risk of depression and stroke.

Chocolate

Chocolate contains antioxidants that may help protect the brain from damage. Studies have shown that chocolate can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

What foods should I avoid?

Saturated fats and refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of depression and other mental disorders. Saturated fats are found in fatty dairy products, meat, and processed foods.

Refined carbohydrates are found in white bread, white rice, French fries, and other sweets. Salt can also harm mental health. Excessive salt intake can increase the risk of stroke and cognitive decline.

General recommendations

To maintain mental health, it is important to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil. It is also important to limit your intake of saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and salt.