2 women eating fruit at dining table and chatting

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

We often forget that the foods we eat not only feed our bodies and muscles, but also our brains.

A diet with high amounts of red meat, refined grains, sugary foods and high-fat products is associated with an increased risk of depression. A diet that promotes foods low in saturated fat and sugar, and high in whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of depression later in life.

Try to increase consumption of the following to boost mental and physical health:

  • Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that boost your mood and reduce overall inflammation, which can play a role in depression.

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil — also known as EVOO — is a great source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that have been linked to heart health, overall well-being and mental health.

  • Probiotics

Probiotics and foods that are probiotic (fermented foods like kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, pickles or kombucha) are great for your gut, aiding in its ability to communicate with the brain, which can improve your mental health.

Other natural mood boosters include daily physical activity, spending time with loved ones, reading and choosing to have a positive outlook.

The VEBA Resource Center offers Cooking & Nutrition Classes. Join our dream team of foodies comprised of a chef, dietitian and medical doctor to learn how to blend the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine to optimize your overall health and wellness – all while having fun! Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.