Foods you must consume to boost mental health and wellness

Mental health refers to the physical health of the brain overall. Taking care of your mental health is extremely important to lead a life free from mental health disorders. What we eat impacts the functioning of the brain. You need to eat the right healthy foods to improve your mental health and wellness.

A healthy diet will boost cognitive functions and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Read on to know which important brain food to include in your diet.


Yogurt is a fermented food that contains useful probiotic bacteria. Probiotics help in breaking down nutrients for better absorption in the body. This improves digestion and allows the brain to better use the nutrients consumed. Eating yogurt containing active cultures have been known to reduce anxiety and stress hormones.

You can eat yogurt directly or add it on cereals, smoothies, salad dressings. There are many ways to consume yogurt. Yogurt also contains proteins, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. This makes yogurt healthy not just for the brain but also for the body as a whole. Include yogurt regularly in your healthy diet.


Leafy greens

Leafy green foods are rich in folic acid. Folic acid is good for health as low levels of folic acid have been linked with depression, fatigue, and insomnia. So eating foods rich in folic acid will help maintain high levels of folic acid in the body.

Leafy green foods like broccoli, spinach, turnip, mustard greens should be included regularly in your healthy diet for good brain health.

Broccoli also contains selenium. Selenium plays an important role in immune system functioning, reproduction and thyroid hormone metabolism. Foods containing selenium are important to brain food as low levels of selenium contribute to rising in depression, anxiety, and fatigue.


Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, depression, ADHD and other mental disorders. Omega 3s are also helpful in boosting learning and memory.

Fishes such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Include these fishes often as you can in your healthy diet to maintain your mental health and wellness.

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Salmon is rich in protein, vitamin D, B vitamins and potassium. Salmon contains tryptophan which converts to serotonin. Serotonin is an important mood regulator in the brain.

Liver and eggs

All animal livers contain a high concentration of nutrients required for good mental health. The liver is high in protein, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, niacin, B6 and folate. The liver is also high in B 12 content which is important for the body.

Eggs are good sources of vitamin D. Eggs are also high in protein and can also be a source of the important omega 3’s if they come from pasture-raised chickens. B 12 content is also found in eggs.

Eggs and livers are very beneficial as brain food so eat them regularly. Eat eggs daily and try to include them in your breakfast every day. Consume liver at least twice in a month.


Brazil nuts and berries

Brazil nuts are rich in nutrients for good mental health. Brazil nuts are good sources of vitamin E, magnesium and tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to serotonin which is an important mood regulator in the brain. Brazil nuts are also known for their selenium content. Selenium helps lower risk of depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

Berries are very rich in vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants repair neurons and damages associated with aging. Berries also contain important fiber, potassium, and digestive enzymes. Include berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries in your list of brain food. Berries can be cooked or added raw in yogurt, smoothies, and cereals.

Carbohydrates and lean protein food

Glucose is the primary source of energy for the brain and is provided by carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates release glucose slowly and provide a steady source of fuel to the brain and body.

Whole wheat products, oats, wild rice, barley, beans, and soy are good sources of complex carbohydrates.

Protein is an extremely important substance in the body. One of the building blocks of protein is tryptophan which influences and regulates mood by producing the neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is also associated with depression. Serotonin reduces the risk of anxiety and depression and improves overall cognitive functioning.

Foods like fish, turkey, chicken, eggs, and beans are good brain food as they contain protein and keep serotonin levels balanced.



Tags:  Foods for depression, Diet for depression and anxiety, Food for mental health wellness

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Jim Carson

Jim Carson is the writer for the mental health section of He is certified in clinical mental health counselling and has conducted cognitive behaviour therapy for war veterans struggling with PTSD. Professionally and personally, Jim is an astute observer of human behaviour that reflects well in his work.