Eat for a healthy mind and not just a healthy body


One of the most important parts of a human is its brain. Our brain is always on and working. It takes care of our thoughts, movements, breathing and heartbeat, our senses – even while you`re asleep. 

This means our brain requires a constant supply of energy and the source of energy is our food. Put simply, what we eat directly affects the structure and function of our brain and, ultimately, our mood. 

The following are the best suggestion from these experts to guide you to the ideal healthy impact. Deepa NandyConsulting Sports Nutritionist and diabetes educator, MumbaiNutrition has to be combined with regular exercise, stress management, proper sleep and a sense of purpose to feel happy, balanced and strong. 

Mental and emotional well-being depends on many nutrients from different foods and focusing on an overall healthy dietary routine. Eat minimally processed food that nourishes the brain. Fibres like fruits, vegetables and whole grains feed the ‘good gut bacteria’ which help in improving focus, memory and cognition. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, olives, coconut oil, walnuts and almonds help in reducing depression and brain cell signalling. Proteins like eggs, meat, fish, cottage cheese, and pulses support brain structure and neural communication. 

Phyto-nutrients like coloured fruits and vegetables protect the brain from metabolic damage. Niti Munjal, Co-founder – RxOcean (Expertise- Weight Loss and Diabetic Diet, GurugramFood) is the fuel for our bodies. It determines every aspect of who we are, so whatever we eat has an impact on our system in one way or the other. It is proven by several kinds of research that nutritional deficiencies have an impact on our brain/mental health big time. For example, it`s a known fact that serotonin, a feel-good hormone, can affect our mood swings. 

Researchers have even linked low serotonin levels with suicide. It is very important to consume a WHOLE FOOD (unprocessed and natural) diet rich in pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A whole food diet not only saves us from nutritional deficiencies but maintains healthy body weight and helps in live disease free. Dr Suguna Sapre, Coach and Founder- Suphala care Holistic Wellness and Nutrition Centre, Bangalore. 

Mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, mood swings, stress, insomnia, restlessness, fear, reduced immunity, low concentration levels and focus can be treated with healthy food. Our gut is the second brain, which has 500 million neurons. The enteric nervous system works in various processes of the digestive system and communicates with the brain. Healthy foods (whole grains-fermented foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, Omega 3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds, protein-dense foods and adequate fluids) help the gut to develop good pre and probiotics, which intern provide special chemicals through neurons and neurotransmitters and condition the brain positively.

Karishma Shah, Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach, Mumbai, has curated a unique program that helps anyone gain clarity, guidance, and actionable steps to achieve their health and life goals through psychological personality analysis. 

Her realignment program is her proprietary creation, which is an amalgamation of 3 aspects: body, mind, and soul, which will enlighten, empower, rejuvenate, support, and broaden an individual`s horizons in all dimensions of wellbeing. It gives learners a taste of how to support their physical, emotional, and spiritual selves. Not just a nutritionist, Karishma is also a certified counselling psychotherapist who has helped many young minds deal with problems of mental illness. 

A lot of people visit her who suffer from anxiety, depression, or any sort of problem with mental wellbeing. Simrat Kathuria, The Diet experts- Director and Dietitian, Ludhiana. Eat for a healthy mind and not just a healthy body. Nutritious, balanced meals can help us improve our attention span, concentration, and decision-making ability. 

These processed foods are high in flour and sugar, which train our brains to crave more. To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Dark green leafy vegetables, in particular, are brain-protective. Nuts, seeds, and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods. 

The top 3 foods to incorporate into a healthy mental diet are complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and fatty acids. Kamna Bhandari, Co-Founder of IFMLNutritionist and lifestyle coach, Mumbai said, “We are what we eat, and a balanced diet is imperative for overall health, be it physical or mental. Our gut is our mini-brain, and an unhealthy gut can lead to poor mental health. Therefore, it`s important to have consumed foods rich in probiotics like curd, buttermilk, and fermented foods, including at least five servings of vegetables.”

“Some other foods that improve mental health are omega-rich foods like fatty fish, turmeric, berries, nuts like walnuts and almonds, dark chocolate, eggs, and broccoli. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression and mood swings. While doing the right thing, one must avoid excessive intake of sugar, processed and packaged foods, alcohol, and being sedentary. So eat right and stay healthy”, said  Kamna Bhandari.

Dr Ridhima Khamesra, Founder of Diet Solution- Clinical Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach, Udaipur said “Do not be a “closet eater” where you are careful about your meals during the day or when you are in a public setting but later gorge on cookies and carb-laden treats when alone. A few minutes or an hour of comfort is followed by hours of regret that in turn compound the depression. Your gastrointestinal tract is your second brain that influences the production of neurotransmitters and chemical substances that influence your mood and your responses. So eating healthy initiates a good GI response, this reflects better in your mood.” 

The thumb rule is to eat only whole original foods without preservatives or minimum preservatives. Ruchita Maheshwari, Founder and Chief Nutritionist of Healthy Mantra, Weightloss and PCOS expert, Diabetes Educator and Certified Renal Specialist, Mumbai exerts that it`s well-established that diet plays a fundamental role in health and wellbeing. Dietary patterns improve mental health, and taking some simple steps can help support a healthy mental state. Food is something that we have taken for granted in the past, but it makes perfect sense that the foods we eat have just as much effect on our brains as they do on the rest of our bodies.

One reason our food choices affect our brains so strongly is that our gastrointestinal system, commonly referred to as “the gut,” is very closely connected to the brain. The gut is home to billions and trillions of living microbes that have many functions in the body, such as synthesizing neurotransmitters that send chemical messages to the brain to regulate sleep, pain, appetite, mood, and emotion. 


Also Read: Air pollution is more dangerous for females than males: Study

In day-to-day life, diet and eating patterns play a vital role in mental health.

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