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6 foods that can give your mental health a boost

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Knowing what foods we should and shouldn’t eat can be really confusing.

One minute we’re told red meat is bad, the next it’s okay in small amounts. Advice and guidance change regularly on what foods benefit our physical health. But what about our mental health?

The mental health charity Mind suggests that improving your diet can help you in any of these three ways: improve your mood, give you more energy and help you think more clearly.   

We’ve gathered up some nutrient-rich, natural foods that will get your brain’s juices flowing and help to look after the mind and soul, as well as the body.

Salmon

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Contrary to the belief that all fat is bad, your brain actually needs fatty acids. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are great examples of fatty acids that can benefit the brain's development.

Salmon is packed full of Omega 3, and is also an excellent source of vitamin D and protein, which are vital to giving your brain that extra boost. Bonus: it also tastes delicious.

Spinach

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Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chard are great sources of iron, potassium and folate. Veggies are also a great source of fibre which helps with healthy digestion. If you’re feeling particularly anxious or stressed, it can wreak havoc on your gut health.

Keep your guts and mind happy with a handful of spinach in your usual veggie stir fry.

Eggs

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Eggs are a great source of protein and a good option if you steer clear of meat. They’re also jam-packed with amino acids which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings.

Fight the brain fog with a quick and simple omelette with fillings and toppings of your choice!

Berries

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Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are high in antioxidants, which can help fend off inflammation, and the vitamins they provide can help to strengthen the immune system, which can play a huge role in your mental health.

They’re rich in colours, flavours and are super versatile. Stick them in a smoothie from frozen or chuck them fresh on your porridge on the morning.

Yoghurt

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The humble yog is packed with probiotic bacteria, which helps break down nutrients so your body can better absorb them. Not only can it help with digestion, but it also lets the brain better use the nutrients we consume.

Try to opt for low-fat plain yoghurt and get creative – it makes for a delicious pancake or breakfast topping!

Seeds and nuts

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A good rule of thumb for eating for mind and body is to consume foods that are more natural and less processed. What’s more natural than stuff that grows in the ground or on bushes and trees? Nuts and seeds are in their original, natural form and are packed full of good fats like Omega 3 and 6.

Sprinkle some chia seeds on your rice pudding or add some walnuts to your lunchtime salad for a positive brain boost.

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