Following a sensible and healthy diet should allow many of the above nutrients to be added naturally to your intake without even giving it much thought. However, according to the U.S. Department of Health, in order for a diet to be balanced and healthy, it should include a healthy balance of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. You should also limit your intake of saturated fats, sugar, and sodium.
Along with the foods mentioned above, other foods to help keep you healthy include the following:
These are foods that are unprocessed, or not altered with artificial dyes and additives. Plant-based foods such as fresh veggies and fruits are great examples of whole foods.
This helps the body digest glucose slower, which helps in avoiding sugar crashes and rushes. Fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans are a few examples of fiber-rich foods.
Foods with antioxidants, such as leafy green veggies, salmon, and turmeric, are all a great natural anti-inflammatory.
Fresh leafy greens, cantaloupe, and lentils are examples of foods rich with Folate (a vitamin B), which provides dopamine production, an important nutrient for the nervous system.
Foods rich in vitamin D, such as certain mushrooms, are good for fighting off depression. Some examples of foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, tuna, shiitake mushrooms, and cheese.
This mineral helps with both physical and mental health. Good sources of magnesium include almonds, cashews, spinach, beans, bananas, and even dark chocolate.
Even with the best intentions, obtaining and maintaining the necessary nutrients for physical and mental health on a daily basis can be challenging. It is important to look at nutrition as a lifestyle shift, not just the latest trendy diet.
Set goals for yourself, and rely on your support system as you transition into a healthier lifestyle. If you still feel like you are not getting enough nutrients through the food that you eat, a daily supplement may be helpful, but it should not take the place of a healthy diet.
It is also important to note that while food is a contributing factor to your mental health and wellbeing, it is not the only factor.
Mental illness can be serious, even life-threatening for some people. If you are struggling with mental health, don’t ignore it. Speak to your doctor and check in with your insurance provider to see what mental health services are covered for you because there is a wide variety of options for help and support.