What are the best and worst foods for your mental health?

Check the following content to learn about the best and worst foods for a healthy mind, so you can make healthy choices that benefit your mind as well as your body.


by Aline Barbosa

Published on 02/20/2023

Everything you eat has an impact on your overall wellbeing – even your mood

Good food is essential for mental health! Source: Canva.

Do you ever feel like your mood is dictated by what’s on your plate? You’re not alone. Research shows there may be a significant connection between the type of foods we eat and our mental health.

Today, we’ll discuss some of the best foods for improving mental health as well as those that are worse than others. Find out which foods have been clinically linked to enhanced emotional wellbeing and which ones might leave you feeling drained and down.

With newfound knowledge about the kinds of foods that can help create better balance in mind, body, and spirit, you can make meaningful adjustments to your daily diet for more positive results.

So get ready to learn how certain meals can truly benefit you both physically and psychologically. And what are the best and worst foods for your mental health!

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Foods that can improve your mental health

Maintaining mental health is just as crucial for your overall wellbeing as physical health. Did you know that certain foods you eat can be a great contributor to your mental health?

There are tons of nutritious meals out there which can do wonders for your moods, concentration levels and more. Below, we’ll explore some of these amazing foods and how they can help improve your mental health.

Give whole foods a try

When it comes to foods that impact your mental health, whole foods should always be high on your list. Eating foods like fruits and vegetables ensures you’re getting the vitamins and minerals that you need to have a healthy brain.

Whole foods are also rich in antioxidants that can help fight off inflammation. Which can affect both your physical and mental wellbeing. Plus, they just taste better!

Shop for fresh or frozen foods that don’t have added preservatives or other ingredients and make sure to incorporate them into every meal you eat. Whole foods are a simple yet highly effective way to ensure your mental health is taken care of from the inside out.

Complex carbs are also great

You need a diversified diet to keep healthy. Source: Canva.

Eating foods that are good for your mental health, like complex carbs, is a great way to give yourself a boost. Complex carbs come in many forms – whole grains, nuts, and legumes such as beans and lentils.

These foods have vitamins and minerals that can help improve your mood, keep you energized, and add nourishment to your body.

Not only do they provide energy, but studies have shown that complex carbs feed the production of serotonin, which can help with depression, regulate stress levels in the brain and body, and provide feelings of happiness as well.

You should include fatty acids in your diet

Believe it or not, fatty foods are actually great for your mental health. One of the best foods you can eat to boost your mood are foods that are full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

These omega acids powerfully impact communication of chemicals in the brain involved in regulating our emotions. Eating foods rich in these fatty acids will help with symptoms of depression and anxiety, while also improving your memory.

Salmon and sardines are two examples of foods rich in essential fatty acids — but there’s plenty more where that came from! From delicious nuts and seeds to avocados, there’s no excuse not to strengthen your mental health with some indulgent fat-filled foods!

Foods that can harm your mental health

Avoid foods that are bad for your health. Source: Canva.

Everyone knows the foods they should be eating to stay healthy, but what about the ones we should be avoiding to keep our minds in tip-top shape?

Our diet plays an essential role in keeping us feeling balanced and our moods stable, so it’s important to know which foods can actually sabotage our mental wellbeing.

Next, we’ll uncover which everyday edibles are not only bad for physical health but also for your psychological state.

You should avoid trans fats 

Eating foods that contain trans fats can take a serious toll on your mental health. These types of foods are abundant in unhealthy foods, including french fries, margarine, and microwave popcorn

Unfortunately, as tasty as these foods might be, your mental health suffers after you eat them. Trans fats are linked to depression, anxiety and even aggression.

Instead of opting for unhealthy foods that contain this type of fat, it’s wise to stick with foods that nurture the mind and body simultaneously.

Refined sugars can do more harm than good

Refined sugars might taste good, but they can have detrimental effects on your mental health. Research has shown that foods high in sugar, such as processed foods and snacks, contribute to negative emotions like anxiety and depression.

Eating too much refined sugar also increases your risk of developing memory problems and cognitive imbalances.

While it’s ok to enjoy a sugary treat now and then, try to limit yourself and keep an eye on your daily intake of refined sugars if you want to maintain good mental health.

Processed foods are convenient, but harmful

Eating processed foods may seem like a quick and easy solution to fueling up, but they can be incredibly detrimental to mental health.

While they may provide temporary relief from hunger, due to high amounts of sugar and fat, these foods offer little nutritional value and can actually contribute more harm than good in the long run.

Processed foods contain high levels of unhealthy saturated fats that can lead to an increase in cholesterol and an elevated risk of depression.

Additionally, a diet consisting of heavily processed foods has been associated with higher levels of stress, anxiety and other negative emotions. The next time you’re looking for a snack, try something whole foods-based instead and gain numerous mental health benefits!

Daily Habits to Boost Your Mental Health in 2023

When it comes to our mental health, we often need gentle reminders of how important self-care and daily habits are for a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your overall wellbeing and take better care of yourself, we can help!

In the following link, we’ll discuss some simple daily habits that have been proven to boost your mental health immensely – from small changes such as getting up earlier to more meaningful actions like showing gratitude daily.

So read on if you’re ready to prioritize your own positive vibes and optimize life satisfaction in the comfort of home!

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About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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