You may have heard a lot of talks recently about food and mental health. There are even websites and TV programs devoted to the subject. The topic is often brought up as a way to help those who are dealing with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. The connection between the two isn’t always clear-cut, however. While it’s true that certain foods can improve mood and energy levels, other substances can help keep you mentally healthy. Here’s what you might want to consider trying:
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One: The first thing you might want to consider when considering food and mental health is what kind of things you do regularly. Easily bored people may suffer from a form of depression known as rumination. For those with mild forms of this problem, simply avoiding caffeine and nicotine and learning to dwell instead on things that make you happier can greatly improve your moods. Other ways to improve this type of depression are to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
Two: Another food that can help you improve your mental health is one that many of you aren’t even aware of. That food is oatmeal. There’s a reason for that. While it might not be your favorite kind of food, taking a half-hour or so out of each day to prepare an oatmeal breakfast can do wonders for your mood.
Three: Finally, another food that can help you improve your mental health is one that most people don’t even consider: their diet. Most of you lead incredibly busy lives, and eating the right foods at the right times can make a big difference in how you feel. Eating breakfast is often one of the first things you think about when you need to feel better. And while having an egg every morning isn’t ideal, eating it on the run or having some yogurt now and then certainly won’t hurt. Eating a snack or two during the day that includes protein and fiber will also benefit your mental well-being.
What’s clear is that there is food that can help you improve your mental health. The bottom line is that any food that makes you feel good is good. But sometimes, having the right food makes it harder for you to make wise food choices. By paying attention to how your bodies respond to different foods, you can learn to pick those foods that work for you. And once you have learned to make good food choices, the benefits of that knowledge extend far beyond simple mental health.