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As it turns out, the experts would back you up. Today, there’s plenty of research that shows the ways nutrition affects our mental health. What we eat can play a vital role in our mental and emotional health.
Missing key vitamins and minerals can lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety. Nutritional deficiencies may even add to cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Just like our body, the brain needs healthy fuel to work its best. Along with vitamins and minerals, it needs healthy fats, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Without them, toxins build up in the body. Too much sugar and processed foods can add to inflammation. In the brain, that can mean a build-up plaque.
People who grapple with depression, anxiety and dementia often lack some key vitamins and minerals. Add foods that are rich in these eight:
So what should you eat to support your mental health? No one has the exact same dietary needs. Still, these foods are loaded with the vitamins and minerals listed above:
Before making any major changes, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition.
Originally published 8/5/2020; Revised 2023
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