Mental health concerns are on the rise in a world where the inequality gap continues to widen.
People are let down by frustrations from lack of opportunities and general wellbeing that makes them live a better life and as such, they go into a state of depression which alters their mental state, which in turn could lead to behaviours not acceptable by societal standards. It can also lead to other severe health complications.
Some try to downplay the severity of mental health problems, insisting they aren’t real and it’s just a case of the victims not being tough enough.
That’s a very wrong assertion. People have different ways of dealing with life’s issues and it should be a point of duty to reach out to those who are struggling to mentally cope.
In these times of uncertainty, it is important to stay healthy to have a strong mindset in conquering lingering problems.
Here are 7 foods that boost mental health:
Oats belong to the class of whole grains which are important sources of B vitamins that improve brain health. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is involved in the process of turning glucose into energy, Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is necessary for the production of Acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory), Vitamin B6 helps to convert the Amino Acid Tryptophan, into Serotonin, and Vitamin B12, which is involved in the production of Serotonin and Dopamine among others, all of which help to regulate mood.
Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics (healthy bacteria in the body). While it largely aids digestive health, probiotics have been shown to play a big role in mental health.
They help in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Probiotics also provide potassium and magnesium which aids oxygen supply to the brain.
3.) Oily Fish
Oily fish such as Sardines, Tuna and Mackerel, are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help build membranes in the cell in the body, including those of the brain called neurons. High levels of Omega-3 fatty acid increases blood flow in the brain which in turn helps in cognition, thinking and other mental activities.
4.) Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables such as African Spinach (Efo Tete), Wild Lettuce (Efo Yanrin), African Basil (Efinrin), Water Leaf (Efo Gbure), Bitter Leaf (Efo Ewuro), Afang Leaf, Ugu and other greens contain Folate, a B vitamin. High intake of Folate found in these greens can decrease depression and improve mood and other mental functions of the brain.
Tomatoes are very rich sources of Vitamin C. Lycopene, a chemical compound which brings out the red colour in tomatoes can give a boost with memory, attention, alertness, logic and concentration. It also helps to fighting off cell damage in the brain, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Eggs have a number of nutrients linked to improved mental health which includes vitamins B6 and B12, Folate, and Choline.
Choline is a micronutrient the body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory and improve other mental functions.
The B vitamins found in eggs meanwhile help slow the progression of mental decline in older adults such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. They also reduce depression.
Bananas are very great for having a healthy mind. They are mood enhancers that affect Tryptophan (an amino acid that produces Serotonin). Tryptophan also helps in giving quality sleep and regulates the intake of food. Bananas are equally rich in Potassium, Vitamin B6 and fibre, nutrients all-important in boosting mental health.