5 Fruits and Veggies Proven to Increase Creativity and Mental Health

Everyone is aware of the link between diet and health. Changing what you eat is key to losing weight, and a healthy diet dramatically improves other aspects of your physical health as well. But for whatever reason, many people are unaware of the links between the foods we consume and the way that our brains function. Research into diet and mental health has demonstrated the negative mental health effects of modern eating, showing that depression and anxiety can be triggered or exacerbated by diets heavy in processed foods. But on the other hand, there’s also evidence that some foods can boost our creativity or otherwise improve our mental well-being. Read on to learn about some fruits and vegetables linked with positive effects on mental health.

1. Broccoli Can Help with Depression and Sleep Problems


Broccoli, which can be prepared in numerous ways or eaten raw, is a mental health superfood. This leafy green is loaded with folic acid, which has been proven to benefit people suffering from fatigue and insomnia, so if your brain is having trouble switching off or booting up, having some broccoli with dinner could solve the problem. Folate deficiency is also linked to depression, as is a deficiency of a mineral called selenium. Surprise: broccoli is also full of selenium.

2. Chia Seeds Are a Small Wonder


Chia seeds have become popular in recent years for many reasons; they raise your levels of HDL cholesterol, the good kind of cholesterol that prevents strokes and heart attacks, and are full of antioxidants that can help fight cancer. Unsurprisingly, they’re also great for mental health, as they’re full of omega 3 fatty acids, a deficiency of which is strongly linked to depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

3. Spinach Can Chill You Out Quickly


Spinach is another leafy green that’s packed with folic acid, so it’ll give you some of the same positive sleep effects as broccoli. It’s also a great source of magnesium. This mineral has calming effects that kick in quickly and has been proven to reduce feelings of anxiety or panic. And spinach is a leafy green that can be prepared in many ways! A spinach salad can make a great accompaniment to a meal, while a spinach-heavy smoothie is a great way to calm down after a stressful day.

4. Berries Are a Boon for Creativity


Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and other fruits of their ilk have a positive effect on mental health. If you’re getting on in years and find that you’re not able to be as creative or quick as you once were, try increasing your intake of berries, which are filled with antioxidants that protect your cells from free radicals, reducing brain inflammation and improving cognition. Combine blueberries and spinach in a smoothie to make a potent creativity cocktail.

5. Onions Can Get You Out of a Funk


Onions, like broccoli, are high in selenium. This trace mineral affects the functioning of our immune and reproductive systems, as well as thyroid hormone metabolism, and a lack of selenium has been shown to cause depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. Onions may not freshen your breath, but they can freshen your mood!

The brain is not separate from the body; it subsists on fuel from the food we consume and can be thrown into unpleasant states by unhealthy foods. In the same way that certain drugs can cause a “bad trip,” certain foods can dramatically worsen our mental health, particularly if we eat them on a regular basis. Luckily, there are others that have the opposite effect. Eat plenty of the foods above and you might see a marked improvement in your mood, awareness, and creativity.

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