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Brain foods: 10 foods to fight depression, insomnia, boost libido and more


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“Help your brain by eating healthy. We all have to eat so let’s do it the right way!” Says our nutritional psychiatrist .

The food we eat literally defines us. So it’s not surprising that a doctor will promote a proper diet to avoid and help with everything from heart disease to obesity.

The same goes for our mental health. With nutritional psychiatry — still a rare niche area in medicine — that focuses on certain foods that will help improve your mood and prevent or reduce mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Because our guts and brain are especially connected, says Dr. Uma Naidoo, the director of nutritional psychiatry department at the Massachusetts Hospital in Boston, our diet does, indeed, affect our mental health.

Usually, people don’t realize it, because the brain and the gut are located in different parts of the body, but the two organs are joined by the vagus nerve, which transmits signals between one another, leading to a lifelong gut-brain connection.

Depression and anxiety medications , for instance, often work by blocking serotonin receptors, most of which are found in the gut. which is why Naidoo — a prescribing psychiatrist, nutritionist and trained chef — also helps her patients with mental health by giving advice from a food perspective.

“I’m not against medications, I am just a firm believer that nutrition is like having a fence against depression, anxiety and other mental health problems”.

“We all have to nourish our bodies. Why not do it in a way that’s going to also benefit our brain?”

Brain Foods To Fight Depression:

Yogurt:

It contains active probiotics that benefits your guts — they promote the growth of good bacteria in your intestine, some of which can enhance levels of many brain chemicals that will help improve depression, said dr. Naidoo . Just make sure to avoid sweetened yogurt, especially the kind with artificial sugars — aim for the plain kind, add to it berries or maybe a dash of cinnamon. Fermented foods like miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles and kefir have similar benefits on your gut.

Tumeric:

This golden spice makes an appearance with its active ingredient, curcumin, in Naidoo’s book so many times: “Tumeric adjusts brain chemicals and shields your brain cells against toxic damage that can lead to depression,” . Simply add it to a smoothie, your soup, or add a dash of it to your salad dressing for an easy way to incorporate it in your daily dishes.

Important Reminder!
You can’t eat yourr way out of depression! Food is a great part of the treatment when combined with proper medications and therapy.

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