Shivangana Vasudeva, NDTV, Updated: June 24, 2013 13:13 IST
Yes it's true, we are what we eat and what we eat is how we feel.
So all the fuss about being fit mentally and physically comes down to one point, good food equals good mood.
Ever wondered if food could be responsible for trashing your mood? Our minds work in mysterious ways. How our body feels is actually decided by the master-mind. A bar of chocolate does the trick while a glass of alcohol acts a depressant. But why so? Simply because these contain chemicals that affect the human brain that could make you feel like you are on cloud nine or down in the dumps.
Feeling cranky, under the weather or stressed out? Fret not! Insert these foods in your diet, they are sure to lift up spirits and promote your mental health. Feed your minds with these brain power boosting catalysts.
We have known these leafy greens as a powerhouse of nutrients but what we do not know is that it could do wonders to your mental health. It is rich in Vitamin K and Folic acid that helps the brain function with ease. It also helps boost memory and prevent dementia. So now, you know why mothers would tell you to eat your spinach.
It is a great source of Vitamin C and is considered to be a healthy brain food. It helps you feel fresh and active. Research has found that Vitamin C helps normalize your blood pressure when under stressful situations. So kick-start your day with a refreshing glass of orange juice.
Dried apricots contain more nutrients than other forms. They are rich in magnesium, which acts a natural stress-buster and helps to calm tensed muscles. A deficiency of magnesium is known to cause headaches and leaves you fatigued. So next time you have a headache, trade your pills with apricots. Apricots contain Vitamin B that helps to cure nervous system disorders like hyperactivity, memory loss, mental fatigue etc.
It won't be wrong if I say chocolates help spread happiness. They contain endorphins, which causes the brain to release happy feelings. They satisfy your sweet cravings but work well for your grey matter too! The cocoa in chocolates helps boost neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and tryptophan in your brain. These neurotransmitters work as antidepressants and help to sharpen the mind.
Here's a new reason to chomp on walnuts. They are rich in omega 3 oils that help maintain a strong and healthy brain. This is because 60 percent of our brain is made up of fat therefore these help the brain function more actively. Omega 3 also fights against depression. Walnuts also contain zinc that acts as healing agent against stress.
World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on 10th October to spread awareness about promoting mental health. Our minds are constantly juggling with umpteen thoughts at the same time. With the ever increasing rate of depression cases and the very many mental disorders haunting children as well as the elderly, maybe it's time we stop thinking so much and take a step towards boosting our mental health. So relax, take a deep breath and cook up a happy healthy meal for yourself.