At one time, healthy eating for mind and body simply meant limiting or eliminating unhealthy ingredients, like sugar and fat 1,2 from an otherwise balanced diet. But now we know it’s also important to incorporate some very specific types of foods and ingredients into your diet on a regular basis in order to protect your mental and physical health. Psycom spoke with Samantha Elkrief, LMSW, therapist, health coach, and chef at Drew Ramsey MD’s Brain Food Clinic, to find out how you can incorporate more of these brain boosters into your diet.

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Zero in on These Brain Boosters

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, nuts, and seeds help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. 3,4,5 Spices like turmeric may also reduce symptoms of depression by reducing brain inflammation.6 Yogurt, fresh sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi are fermented foods containing “good bacteria” that add balance to the naturally occurring bacteria in your gut known as the microbiome. The microbiome plays a role in brain development, behavior, and mood. 7,8 A diet rich in fruits and veggies is associated with higher levels of happiness. 9 And if you need a treat after all that healthy eating, dark chocolate has been found to reduce symptoms of stress. 10

(Photo: Unsplash, Jwlez @jwlez)

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Last Updated: Aug 16, 2019