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Five Foods to Improve Mental Wellbeing

For Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to share the top five foods that are great for our mental wellbeing!

From the 10th-16th May 2021 it is Mental Health Awareness Week. This is a great week for us to focus on looking after our mental health and to start having open conversations about it, as we are aware of the need for there to be more open discussions surrounding it. We think it’s important to discuss the little things in daily life that can affect our wellbeing, even down to the things we eat! Eating well can help us think clearly and feel happier. We are constantly told about the benefits of healthy eating for our bodies, but what about for our minds?

Here are our top five foods that improve wellness and mental health.

  1. Beans

Beans are a fantastic food choice for a healthy and happy brain. They are packed with vitamin B, which is especially valuable to our brains as it boosts the production of neurotransmitters. With such a wide variety to choose from, including kidney beans, black beans and black-eyed peas, why wouldn’t you add some to your favourite dishes?

  1. Berries

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries – your options are endless! Berries are a delicious snack that we all know and love, but they are also the perfect way to get your fix of antioxidants. Antioxidants have been found to help improve some symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Why not add some berries into your breakfast to get the perfect start to your day?

  1. Yoghurt

We have all heard about the healthy bacteria in yoghurt, that is good for the gut, but did you know that there is a brain-gut connection? This means that the probiotics that are found in all of our favourite yogurts can help to lower our stress and anxiety levels. The perfect way to end any meal.

  1. Leafy Greens

It may not be an exquisite takeaway, but you can’t ignore the benefits of leafy greens. A recent study suggests that those who regularly ate daily servings of leafy greens have a slower rate of cognitive decline. So, don’t avoid the green – pile your plate with kale, spinach and cabbage.

  1. Oily Fish

Eating fish such as prawns, salmon and trout is ideal, as they are oily, so contain lots of fatty acid. The wonderful fatty acid that is DHA is found in high levels. This helps to reduce levels of anxiety and boost feelings of wellness and positivity. Not a big fan of seafood? Don’t worry – you can also get your source of DHA in a fish oil supplement, such as cod liver oil capsules.

Mrs Scoular, our Food and Nutrition teacher, says "our diet is important in having a good mindset. The old saying 'we are what we eat' has lots of truth in it. Eating a healthy diet makes us feel more alert and can help with concentration. Research has shown that adding one extra portion of fruit and or vegetables to our diet per day could be as beneficial to mental well-being as going for a walk. Challenge yourself this week to have that extra piece of fruit rather than chocolate bar!"