Do you often think what food could be good for treating a certain mental condition? Thinking of being happy once you eat chocolate? If so, you have come to the right place. Until the 21st century, we could not realize how different ingredients like milk, coconut or dried fruits, affect our body and general health. Thanks to technology advancement, we can understand what changes occur when a certain type of food is consumed. Now, the list of sciences is expanded by one slot, after the experts had developed a new type of psychiatry called nutritional psychiatry that researches the effects of food on our mind. As the researches of anxiety and depression are in abundance, the experts managed to understand what food is good for treating these mental illnesses. Before we mention them, let us explain what substance relates mostly to the mental state of humans.
How food relates to the mental state?
The experts say that the level of serotonin is the key thing for a balanced and healthy mental state. The main substance is serotonin which occurs in different types of food. Serotonin is highly concentrated in fruits like pineapple, banana, kiwi or plum. Usually, one gram of fruit contains 15 to 30 micrograms of serotonin. On the other hand, vegetables are also a valuable source of serotonin and tomatoes have the highest amount of all vegetables, reaching up to 220 micrograms in just one gram of tomato. However, the highest concentration of serotonin is in nuts, butternuts have almost 400 micrograms of serotonin in just one gram. It is evident that you need to include all of these ingredients in your daily menu in order to keep your serotonin level at the normal level.
What food is good for treating anxiety?
Probiotics for example, are great for our gastrointestinal tract because of the good bacteria they produce. However, the gastrointestinal tract produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is a hormone of happiness. Therefore, the good balance between bad and good bacteria is a must if you want to treat the anxiety, as the decreased level of serotonin provokes anxiety. Yogurt or kefir, for example, are the perfect ways for achieving the balance between bacteria and for treating your anxiety.
Magnesium releases a neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) which is important for a stable mind. In case the level of GABA is low, nerve cells may become “too happy” which often leads to anxiety. Magnesium is often consumed as a supplement to the food but can be found in high concentration in seeds or nuts. Consuming of 200 to 350 grams of magnesium twice a day is a good way to combat your anxiety.
Vitamin D is another great perk that is highly efficient in fighting the mental conditions like depression or anxiety as it increases the level of serotonin that is a must for the good mental state. Although it can happen that vitamin D lowers the level of magnesium, have in mind that you need to take an additional amount of magnesium in case you take vitamin D on a daily basis.