Well, people know that eating a wholesome diet is good for their physical health, but what about mental well-being? The latest studies are disclosing light on the impact of food on mental wellness and its relationship with certain mental health conditions, mainly anxiety and depression.

Studies show that a poor diet can play a crucial role in aggravating mental health conditions, while a Mediterranean diet, packed with vegetables and olive oil, can enhance the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Brain Diet

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Yes, your sense of well-being and mood can be improved by eating a nutritious diet that is well-balanced and varied. Overall wellness means feeling good and healthy from head to toe.

Read on to find how diet help to boost your mental health, as well as the best foods to augment your overall mental well-being.

How Food Impacts Your Brain?

Food is a vital contributor to proper body functioning. Like any other body part, the brain works best with a good lot of foods. A wholesome diet packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals nourishes and shields the brain from free radical damage and oxidation of healthy brain cells.

While eating processed and refined foods makes it hard for the brain to get rid of waste products. Also, several pieces of evidence have shown that poor eating habits such as high-fat and sugar-laden diets, can damage the brain, impeding its normal functioning.

A diet laden with potent antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables averts free radicals from hurting the body and brain. Where an accumulation of free radicals can cause oxidative stress and inflammation, which can damage brain cells.

Diet also holds a significant role in the functioning of neurotransmitters, mainly serotonin, as your gut is lined with neurons. Around 90% of serotonin is made in the gastrointestinal tract with the support of gut bacteria. Your gut and brain are closely connected, and diet matters a huge deal when it comes to mood and mental health. The good bacteria in the gut thrive on plant foods that are rich in prebiotics fibers, when you feed them right, they keep the gut healthy and safeguard against inflammation.

 Having plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, which have anti-inflammatory actions, with minimal amounts of dairy, lean meat, fish, and seafood are known to boost mental well-being.

Also Read: The MIND Diet: Here’s Why You Should Eat These Top 10 Foods For Brain Health And Memory

Vital Nutrients For Mental Health

If the human body isn’t getting adequate vitamins and minerals, it impacts physical and mental health. If you’re eating a wholesome diet heaped with a rich array of colourful fruits and vegetables, then one needn’t worry too much, but a diet packed with fats foods and refined carbs lacks nutrients and can cause deficiencies. Add colour to your diet with bright foods and nutrients.

Nutrients To include:

Iron: Iron deficiency has been related to attention -deficit /hyperactivity disorder in children, whereas iron deficiency anaemia caused by workout is also related to depression.

Complimenting the diet with food sources rich in iron like green leafy vegetables, dates, legumes, millets, lean meat and eggs can pump the iron reserves.

Also Read: Top 5 Iron Rich Foods To Boost Your Child’s Immunity

B Vitamins: Lack of B12, B6 vitamins are associated with depression and supplementation has shown to enhance mood in patients with depression.

Also supplementing the diet with wealth of B vitamins rich food like lean meat, eggs, fortified cereals, and non-citrus fruits can help improve B vitamins.

Selenium: Deficiency of selenium is related to mood disorder, however, supplementing the diet with selenium has shown to fight anxiety and uplift mood.

Add nuts, brown rice, flax seeds, eggs and mushroom to improve selenium in the body naturally.

Zinc: This trace mineral supports to shield the brain against free radical damage. Moreover, lower levels of zinc were found in people with depression.

Include these food sources rich in zinc include beans, nuts, whole grain cereals, dairy products and seafoods to up the zinc content.

Maintain Good Hydration

The human body is made up about 60% of water, and brain is about 73% water. Thus, it is quintessential to stay well hydrated and maintain fluid balance to support the body and brain health. Dehydration can result in headaches which can further irritate and hamper your mental health. You are expected to have at least 8 glasses of water in a day.

In a clinical trial, the SMILES study revealed that a diet rich in plant-based food is a better choice to treat the depressive disorder. Furthermore, the study disclosed that of all the healthy diets, the Mediterranean diet has strong evidence of improving better mental health and fighting anxiety and depression.

The Essential Components of the Mediterranean Diet

Choose from a colourful range of vegetables like tomatoes, kale, broccoli, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, and onions

Include plenty of fresh fruit like apples, bananas, figs, dates, grapes, and melons.

Add a good amount of legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and cashews.

Include whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, barley, and brown rice.

Choose from a healthy source of dietary fat like olive oil, along with olives, avocados and avocado oil.

Include dairy foods like cheese and yoghurt.

Have minimal amounts of fish (salmon, sardines and oysters) and poultry.

Eggs including -chicken, quail, and duck eggs.

Limited amount of red meats.

Restrict salt usage and tweak with a healthy alternative like herbs and spices to boost the flavour.

Water is the main beverage of choice. Avoid totally carbonated and sweet drinks, red wine can be included in moderate amounts.

Stay active and do moderate-intensity exercise regularly.


Without any doubt, good nutrition has a remarkable effect on a person's mental well-being. Eating a wholesome and varied diet helps the brain to focus well, think clearly, stay alert and active, and improve concentration and attention span. Whereas poor dietary habit leads to fatigue and heightens the risks of stress, anxiety and depression. Hence, it’s not very hard to modify your lifestyle and eating habits for better physical and mental health.