Healthy brain foods boost our mood, health and work performance. GETTY

Proper nutrition can impact every aspect of people's lives.

Iran Press/America: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that good nutrition, along with ample sleep and good exercise, provides the fuel that promotes your health, mood, and mindful productivity at work. But, if you struggle with making nutritious choices regularly, you are not alone. Making healthy, nutrition-packed choices can be a difficult undertaking, Forbes reported.

March is National Nutrition Month—a month to raise awareness to how ح, not just physical health, but also your professional brain health. During this month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics promotes the transformative powers of healthy food choices.

It’s not a federal holiday so we don’t get time off from work, and we don’t have fireworks or give presents, but you can still celebrate. What if you were to take a breath, step back, and, during the month of March (and beyond if possible), make it a point to be mindful of making food choices that boost your brain health, well-being, and productivity?

“Connection between food and mood is becoming not only more well known, but also more well researched,” said Dr. Teralyn Sell psychotherapist and brain health expert.

1: Protein

Proteins are a top priority for mental well-being. Proteins offer the brain the amino acids it needs to create neurotransmitter pathways. The second thing proteins do is stabilize blood sugar.  When blood sugar is not stable, you can feel more depressed or anxious. Protein helps regulate blood sugar balance and prevents mood highs and lows. Animal proteins tend to have the most benefit for mental health such as meats, poultry, dairy, cheese and eggs. Plant proteins such as beans, peas, grains, and nuts can also be used, but pay careful attention to food pairing for complete protein.

2: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Researchers have been investigating the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on mood and have found that two omega-3 fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have the most potential to benefit those with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Omega-3 fatty acids are also considered anti-inflammatory, which can help with depression. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in fish and other seafood, especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines, nuts, and seeds—such as flax-seed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

3: B Vitamins

B Vitamins are essential nutrient co-factors for brain wellness and immune function. B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they can't be stored in the body; so, you need to get them through the foods you eat (or supplementation) every day. Some of the best sources of B vitamins include meat, poultry, fish, avocados, citrus fruits, legumes, eggs, and whole grains.

4: Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for mood and is one that is often overlooked. Vitamin D is often fortified within the foods that we eat. We can get vitamin D through sun exposure (primarily through the eyes and skin), through proper supplementation, fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon), and foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolk.


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Dietary factors associate with mental health