Very similar to the intricate relationship between intestine and mind, weight-reduction plan and psychological well being are inextricably linked—and the hyperlink between them goes each methods: a scarcity of fine consuming habits results in a rise in psychological well being issues, and psychological well being issues in flip result in poor consuming habits .
When individuals study that I am a psychiatrist, mind well being researcher, and nutritionist, they typically ask me how they need to eat to maximise the mind’s superb powers.
Based mostly on my work with a whole lot of sufferers, under are the highest mind boosting meals individuals aren’t consuming sufficient of. Together with them in your weight-reduction plan can enhance your temper, sharpen reminiscence, and assist your mind work at peak effectivity:
Apart from including taste, spices are recognized for his or her antioxidant properties. In different phrases, they assist the mind battle off dangerous free radicals, stopping oxidative stress that may injury tissues.
One among my favourite spices is Turmeric – a standout when it comes to reducing anxiety. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may reduce anxiety and alter the appropriate brain chemistry, protecting the hippocampus.
I also love saffron. In 2013, a meta-analysis of five previously published randomized controlled trials examined the effects of saffron supplementation on depressive symptoms in participants with major depressive disorder.
In all of these studies, the researchers found that saffron consumption significantly reduced depression symptoms compared to the placebo controls.
2. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are made by combining milk, vegetables or other raw ingredients with microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria.
Some examples are plain yogurt with active cultures, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. These are all sources of live bacteria that can do this improve healthy bowel function and reduce anxiety.
In the brain, fermented foods can offer several benefits. A 2016 review of 45 studies found that fermented foods might protect animal brains, improve memory and slow cognitive decline.
Probiotic-rich yogurt can be a powerful part of your diet, but remember that yogurt that’s been heat treated doesn’t have the same benefits. One such example is yogurt-covered raisins — these won’t help your anxiety as the heat-treated yogurt no longer contains beneficial bacteria.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of iron, which helps form the sheath that protects neurons and helps control the synthesis of the chemicals and chemical pathways involved in mood.
In 2019, a cross-sectional survey of more than 13,000 adults found that people who regularly ate dark chocolate had a 70% reduced risk of developing depression symptoms.
Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, as long as you stick to the dark stuff and make sure it doesn’t have too much sugar in it.
Avocados have relatively high amounts of magnesium, which is important for proper brain function.
The first report of magnesium treatment for aroused depression was Published in 1921 and showed success in a whopping 220 out of 250 cases.
Since then, countless studies have suggested that depression is linked to magnesium deficiency. Several case studies treating patients with 125 to 300 milligrams of magnesium have shown rapid recovery from major depression, often in less than a week.
I love mixing avocados, chickpeas and olive oil as a delicious spread on low GI toast like pumpernickel or as a dip for freshly cut veggies.
Nuts have healthy fats and oils that our brains need to function well, along with essential vitamins and minerals — selenium in Brazil nuts, for example.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of Omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts show promise in improving thinking and memory.
I recommend eating 1/4 cup a day (no more—it’s easy to overdo it with nuts!) as a snack or add it to your salad or vegetable side. Nuts can even be combined into a homemade granola or trail mix that’s far less sugar and salt than store-bought versions.
6. Leafy greens
When I say that leafy greens like kale make a difference in health, my patients turn their noses up at the idea. But leafy greens contain vitamin E, carotenoids and flavonoids, which are nutrients Protection against dementia and cognitive decline.
Another benefit is that they’re an incredible source of folic acid, a natural form of vitamin B9, which is important for red blood cell formation. Where folate deficiency may underlie some neurological disorders, improving folate status has beneficial effects on our cognitive status and is a necessary cofactor in neurotransmitter production.
Leafy greens like spinach, chard, and dandelion leaves are also excellent sources of folic acid!
dr Uma Naidoo is a nutritional psychiatrist, brain expert and faculty member at Harvard Medical School. She is also Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of the bestselling book “This is Your Food Brain: An Essential Guide to the Surprising Foods That Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More.” Follow her on Twitter @DrUmaNaidoo.