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Popular Foods That Are Supporting Your Mental Health, Says Expert

Add these foods into your diet ASAP.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

With the pandemic coming to a close and the re-emergence into normal, pre-covid life, you could be feeling even more anxious than you were before. Finding solutions to help with these mental health challenges is key, and a great way to support your mental health and feel your best is by considering your diet. In the same way that there are particular foods that can be detrimental to your overall mental health, there are also foods you can eat to help support it.

We consulted Sydney Greene, MS, RD, registered dietitian and member of our medical expert board, to determine which popular foods you should be eating to ultimately support your mental health. And to read more about mental health, check out 45 Doctors' Own Mental Health Tips.

1

Pasture-Raised Eggs

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Starting your morning with pasture-raised eggs could be all you need to feel better.

"Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins, and iodine, eggs will not only help to uplift mood, but they will keep you feeling full and satisfied longer," says Greene.

So whether you like them in an omelet, scrambled, over-easy, or boiled, eggs should be your go-to breakfast to start the day to best support your mental health.

Here are 17 Side Effects of Eating Eggs Every Day.

2

Green Leafy Vegetables

kale salad
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There really isn't anything green leafy vegetables can't do. Green leafy vegetables include kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, and more. Not only can these veggies help improve your overall health by lowering cholesterol, supporting bone health, and lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, but they can even play a role in boosting your mood.

According to Greene, "These plants are a powerful source of folate, which helps aid the production of dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical."

So, it's definitely worth picking some of your favorite leafy greens up on your next grocery run.

Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Leafy Greens.

3

Brazil Nuts

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If you're looking for the best snack to support your mental health, skip the chips, and instead, reach for a few Brazil nuts.

"These nuts contain selenium, which has been shown to decrease levels of anxiety, depression, and fatigue," says Greene.

They're the perfect thing to reach for if you find your mental health getting the best of you, especially on the go—just keep some in a bag and carry it with you. Greene reminds us, though, to keep your intake at 4 to 5 Brazil nuts per day, at most—they are nutrient powerhouses, so they pack a lot into a small portion.

4

Seafood

oysters
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When it comes to underrated foods that support your mental health, seafood definitely reigns supreme. Whether you like salmon, oysters, clams, or mussels, loading up on your seafood is definitely the move.

"One serving of oysters, for example, provides 30% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron, over 300% of the RDI of vitamin B12, and over 600% of the RDI of zinc," says Greene.

And it's these nutrients that are essential for brain health and neurotransmitter production. Who knew that supporting your mental health could be as easy as ordering oysters at your local seafood restaurant.

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Rachel Linder
Rachel is an Associate Editor responsible for compiling the daily Eat This, Not That! newsletter, making TikTok and YouTube videos for the brand, writing articles for the site, creating original graphics and providing direct assistance to the editors when needed. Read more
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