"You are what you eat.” Most people associate this popular phrase with how food affects them physically, but what about mentally? According to Harvard Health Publishing, a lack of essential nutrients is known to contribute to the onset of poor mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD.
We scoured the internet to find a few of the most nutrient dense foods to improve your health from the inside out:
1) Salmon - Salmon is an excellent source of protein, vitamin D and potassium. It is also one of the best sources of DHA omega 3. Salmon provides tryptophan which converts to serotonin, an important mood regulator in the brain. (www.health.harvard.edu)
2) Dark, Leafy Greens - Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine, turnip greens, and broccoli are high in folic acid. These are all great sources of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, folate, and vitamins A, C, E and K. (www.psychologytoday.com)
3) Seeds - Flax seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are great for your mood because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They also have calcium, magnesium and potassium! (www.everydayhealth.com)
4) Nuts - Almonds are high in vitamin E and monounsaturated fats which are great for preventing cognitive decline and memory loss. Walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids which can boost brain cell communication and growth. (www.rtor.org)
5) Whole Grains - Our brains love complex carbohydrates, which are found in high amounts in oatmeal, barley and quinoa. The soluble fiber found in whole grains helps to clear arteries and improve oxygen flow to the brain. (www.psychologytoday.com)
6) Avocados - Three-fourths of the calories in an avocado are from fat, mostly monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. An average avocado also contains 4 grams of protein and is filled with vitamin K, vitamin B (B9, B6 and B5), vitamin C, and vitamin E12. (www.everydayhealth.com)
7) Yogurt – Yogurt, and other products containing active cultures, are excellent sources of probiotics. Yogurt can also provide you with potassium and magnesium which helps oxygen reach the brain, further improving its ability to function. (www.icanotes.com)
8) Extra Virgin Olive Oil - This type of oil contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which help to remove the effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. (www.webmd.com)
9) Dark Chocolate - We saved the best for last! Flavonoids, found in dark chocolate, improve blood flow to the brain and can boost memory, attention span, reaction time and problem-solving skills. (www.webmd.com)
At MediCopy, we care about the health of our clients, patients and employees. We hope these tips help you “March” towards improved health. If you'd like to read more about what we're doing to stay healthy and active, check out our Happenings section!