There are many trends that can be misleading or seem like fads in our culture. Diets come and go as new discoveries are made and habits tend to fade. One food trend that is surely not a fad is eating foods that improve your mental health.
Studies have shown that “you are what you eat” is a well-known saying for a reason. Healthy foods contain vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly and eating the right foods can certainly have some noticeable effects! HarborChase Senior Living is sharing some foods that have been shown to benefit mental health and increase cognitive function.
Foods That Benefit Mental Health
Several foods have been proven to have positive effects on mood, mental clarity and memory. Knowing which foods are best for you is not always clear, but it is a good rule of thumb to stick to fresh foods that have minimal processing. It is well-known, however, that the manufacturing process tends to drain any healthy nutrients out of the foods that are in our stores today. Here are some foods that have clearly positive effects on your brain.
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
Positive Mental Health Effects of Foods
What are some of the benefits of eating these foods? Well, there is a wide array of nutrients and minerals in these foods that have positive effects on the brain and body. For example, salmon is high in omega-3’s, which are commonly used to treat many mood disorders. It has also been shown that citrus fruits have the potential to reduce the likelihood of you developing dementia by as much as 23%! This may not be an immediate benefit, but it is sure to benefit many older adults later in life.
While foods are very important to a diet, beverages can prove to be just as helpful. Studies show that seniors who drink the recommended amount of water on a daily basis typically experience a clearer mind and better memory. Tea and coffee are also shown to benefit mental health because they are high in antioxidants, which can reduce the amount of oxidative stress on the brain over time.
Why Seniors Need A Healthy Diet
While the benefits of eating healthy can benefit anyone, they become increasingly important for older adults. It is common for memory care and assisted living communities to include these foods into daily recipes for residents because of their proven benefits.
Anxiety treatment regimens also use these foods in order to reduce stress and anxiety in seniors because they are a more natural alternative to many prescribed medications. If you’re experiencing signs of anxiety or depression, it may be best to speak with a physician and inquire about incorporating mental health foods into your diet.
As more discoveries are made about what we eat, the options for a healthy diet seem to expand. Remember to try to avoid processed foods as much as possible because they offer little benefit to your mind and body. Including fresh food into your diet may aid in a clear mind and prevent the necessity of taking medications for memory impairment.
Over time, the unseen benefits of these foods could make a bigger difference in your life than you think! For more information about mental health trends and senior diets, subscribe to the HarborChase Senior Living blog!