Not so long ago, the connection between mental wellbeing and food didn’t exist. Today, many studies show how eating specific foods can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Sadly, those who are mourning the loss of a loved one often neglect their diet. So, here are seven grief busting foods to incorporate into your daily meals.
Walnuts are one of the most nutritious and delicious nuts. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts have been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. They are also high in tryptophan, an amino acid that your body uses to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates moods.
Walnuts should be consumed either raw or baked into treats as cooking them can destroy their healthy compounds.
Another great mood-boosting food is kale. While many foods on this list are high in omega-3 fatty acids, kale contains about twice as much as walnuts. It, too, is high in serotonin and tryptophan.
Kale can be eaten raw or cooked, but avoid microwaving because that can reduce the nutritional value.
Who doesn’t love guacamole with its delicious creamy, salty taste? Like walnuts and kale, avocados contain tryptophan, which helps promote serotonin production in the brain. They are also high in omega-3s, which help reduce depression and anxiety.
Avocados are very versatile and can be used in smoothies, guacamole, or eaten alone. They’re also great when paired with salmon and kale.
Lentils are high in folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that helps with mood balance and can help reduce depression. They are also high in fibre, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium, which support mental health by promoting proper neurotransmitter function.
Add lentils to pasta, salads, and soups for a healthy and delicious meal.
Almonds are incredibly high in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that shields body cells from damage and stress. They also contain tryptophan and magnesium, which support serotonin production in the brain to help with mood balance.
Almonds can be eaten raw or processed into almond milk, which can substitute for dairy milk.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce depressive symptoms. It’s also great for your heart and can help combat inflammation. If you’re a pescetarian or a vegan, try adding a flax supplement to your diet to get the same benefits.
Salmon can be eaten baked, grilled, or broiled. Try adding some kale and avocado as sides for a delicious meal.
Lastly, eat lots of yoghurts, especially the plain kind. Dairy products are high in tryptophan which can promote serotonin production that will help improve your mood. Yoghurt reduces cortisol levels which in turn lowers stress and anxiety symptoms.
Try eating a cup of yoghurt before bedtime to help you sleep and keep your mental health in check while grieving.
Small food changes equal happy results
Many more foods can improve your mood, but incorporating these seven is a great place to start.
Making small changes to what you eat every day can positively impact your mental health. So eat these seven foods with confidence, knowing that you’re getting good nutrition and promoting all your body needs to help you find happiness again.