Eating Well for Mental Health

It’s been a long week at work and you’re feeling extra stressed…the first thought on your mind probably isn’t to reach for some walnuts or grab a slice of whole grain toast, but maybe it should be. The way we eat doesn’t only impact our bodies, but also our mind and our mental health.

Don’t skip breakfast!

It’s true what they say…breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day! Research shows that those who eat breakfast in the morning have lower levels of stress compared to those who tend to skip it. And yes, what you eat for breakfast matters! Think satisfying and nutritious options like eggs, yogurt, oats and what brings us to our next tip….

Switch to Whole Grains

A diet consisting of whole grains is associated with lower levels of overall stress! Whole grains are high in an amino acid called tryptophan, which your body uses to make serotonin. Serotonin helps stabilize your mood and make you feel calmer! Good sources of whole grains include: whole wheat toast, whole wheat bagels, oats, whole wheat pasta and brown rice.

Eat a diet high in Omega 3s

Omega 3s have so many amazing health benefits. Not only do they help reduce inflammation, contribute to a healthy heart, and promote brain health, but they also can contribute to mental health. A diet rich in flax seeds, nuts, fish and fish oil has been associated with lower stress levels. Try sprinkling some flax seeds into your morning yogurt, or snacking on heart healthy walnuts. 

Eat your greens 

You can never go wrong when it comes to greens! Foods like kale, spinach and broccoli are rich in magnesium which has been found to promote relaxation. Blend some kale or spinach into a smoothie for a delicious and nutrient rich breakfast that both your mind and body will love!

Try combining these tips into a satisfying meal of whole grain toast for your carbohydrate source, topped with peanut butter and flax seeds for some healthy fats and omega 3s, plus eggs with spinach for your protein and greens! Remember that there is so much more to health than appearance. A healthy mind plus a healthy body equals a happy life! 

Learn how to nourish your body properly by scheduling a free call with Alli here.

This article was written by Lindsey Moser, nutrition intern. Fact checked by Allison Tallman RD.

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