The physical benefits of a balanced, healthy diet are well documented. However, can those benefits extend to the psychological? While there is no one diet that is proven to cure depression or anxiety, a balanced diet filled with certain nutrients can be a great part of an overall care plan.
Limit consumption of caffeine: Caffeine can trigger anxiety and interfere with sleep. Numerous studies have tied sleep troubles with depression.
Antioxidants are your friend: Antioxidants help fight free radicals. These molecules can have a destructive effect on the brain, as well as the rest of the body. Foods like broccoli, spinach, berries, nuts, and sweet potatoes are filled with antioxidants.
Pack in protein: Protein contains the amino acid tryptophan. This chemical can help the body make serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone that helps boost mood. Meat is an obvious source, but other sources include yogurt, soy, beans, and low-fat cheese.
These are a few examples of the kinds of diet changes that can be beneficial for mental health. Eating healthy foods like these are no guarantee that symptoms will improve, a balanced diet is just one part of an overall plan of care. If you are struggling with mental health, please seek out the help of a trained professional.