VEGAN FOOD FOR MENTAL HEALTH
October 11 2023 – Delikate Rayne
They say you are what you eat and for good reason! What you put inside your body impacts how your mind and your body function. If you are looking to improve your mental health, try looking at what you’re putting inside your body. Some vitamins and minerals to look out for are folate, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Folate, which is also known as folic acid or vitamin B9, is an important nutrient that is associated with lowering your risk of depression. Studies have shown that low folate levels are associated with a higher risk of developing depression and dementia. Folate works for red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. Vegan foods that are high in folate are leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and fruits.
Vitamin D is another important nutrient that works to improve your mental health. People with vitamin D deficiencies have higher rates of depression. Vitamin D is believed to play a role in Seasonal Affective Disorder because there is less sun during the fall and winter months. Vitamin D works to help the body absorb calcium to strengthen bones and teeth and also benefits the body's muscles and immune system. A lot of foods do not naturally have Vitamin D, especially plant-based foods. However, there are vegan foods that are Vitamin D fortified. Some vegan foods that are excellent sources of Vitamin D are mushrooms, fortified plant-based milk, fortified orange juice, fortified tofu, and fortified cereals.
Omega-3 fatty acids are another important nutrient to eat to improve your mental health. Omega-3 fatty acids also work to improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Studies have found Omega-3 fatty acids to be helpful in treating depression and stabilizing moods. It has also been shown to help boost the effectiveness of conventional antidepressants. Vegan food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, flax, olive oil, basil, and dark leafy green vegetables.
Now you are ready to take on your mental health journey from the inside out! Take these tips and incorporate more folate, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet to improve your mental health.
Sources: Mental Health America