This Valentine’s day, you might be thinking the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. While this may or may not be true, research shows one of the best ways to optimal mental health is, indeed, through the stomach. What you eat is critical to the health of your entire body including brain health. Many of the nutrients we digest are essential building blocks of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that regulate mood, appetite, sleep, weight and a myriad of other processes that work to keep us functioning properly. Diets containing whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean meat, and fatty fish as well as probiotic-rich foods like pickles, sauerkraut, and kefir are associated with better physical and mental health. Omega 3 fatty acid and vitamin supplementation can play an integral role in our mental health, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Always consult your healthcare provider before making lifestyle changes.
Sean Miller, Canadian Mental Health Association, mbwpg.cmha.ca
This article appeared in the February 2017 edition of Wellness News