The food we eat plays a major role in how we think, feel and act. It can play an important role in determining our general mood, memory, concentration, and outlook on life. For this reason, it’s a good idea to focus on eating a variety of plant-based foods each day to make sure you’re getting as many nutrients as possible. Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health, mental state, or cognitive skills, watching your diet and eating consciously can really pay off. When you remove harmful, processed foods from your diet and instead provide your body with all of the plant-based foods it needs, it begins to function at its best.

Let’s take a look at certain foods that promote optimal brain health and lift your mood:

We also strongly recommend downloading the Food Monster app – with over 15,000 delicious recipes, it’s the largest meat-free, vegan, plant-based and allergy-friendly recipe source to help you get healthy!

Bananas

Banana peanut butter maple oatmeal muffins

Bananas are great for boosting your mood and activating the feel-good chemicals in your brain. They contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which is essential for humans. This means that the body cannot make it itself and it has to be ingested with our food. It helps our bodies produce serotonin, improves the quality of our sleep, and helps us regulate our food intake. Bananas also contain potassium and provide a good amount of vitamin B-6 and fiber. Check out these recipes for banana peanut butter maple oatmeal muffins, blueberry banana smoothie bowl, and stuffed peanut butter, jelly, and banana sweet potato.

Blueberries

Paleo blueberry and coconut slice,

Blueberries are one of the most nutritious berries and contain fiber, vitamins C, K and manganese, among other things. Research has also shown that it can increase the levels of antioxidants in your body. Because of their high antioxidant content, they can neutralize some of the free radicals that can potentially damage your DNA. The antioxidants can also affect areas of your brain that are responsible for brain function and delay mental decline. Check out these blueberry banana bran muffins, paleo blueberry coconut slice, and blueberry banana oat bread recipes.

Dark chocolate

Hazelnut Latte Chocolate

Hazelnut-milk-dark chocolate latte

Not only does dark chocolate taste amazing, it also has some amazing benefits for our brains. Eating dark chocolate can have a positive effect on mood and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. One study found that “people who ate dark chocolate in two 24-hour periods were 70% less likely to report depressive symptoms than those who did not eat chocolate.” This is because “dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator that is involved in mood regulation.” Check out these recipes for Hazelnut Milk Dark Chocolate Latte, Crunchy Blood Orange Breakfast Oatmeal with Dark Chocolate Chips, and Baked Pears with Coconut Cream, Toasted Walnuts and Dark Chocolate Drizzle.

Omega 3

Creamy mango chia pudding

Creamy mango chia pudding

Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids consist of three acids: a-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in plants, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They are essential to our bodies and are known to have a strong connection to anxiety relief. One study showed that consuming high-dose omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements can dramatically reduce anxiety-related symptoms in patients with a clinical diagnosis. Plant sources include walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, edamame, seaweed, and seaweed. Check out these recipes for walnut and fig slices, whole grain flaxseed and sesame crackers, and creamy mango chia pudding.

Avocados

Matcha avocado smoothie

Matcha avocado smoothie

Not only are avocados delicious, they are also incredibly nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients. They are rich in vitamins K, C, B5, B6, E, folic acid and potassium. It also contains smaller amounts of manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Most of the fat in an avocado is oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that helps protect the cells in your brain and reduces inflammation. Check out these recipes for matcha avocado smoothie, Greek avocado toast, and avocado quinoa salad.

tomatoes

Polenta frittata with mushrooms, tomatoes and basil [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Polenta frittata with mushrooms, tomatoes and basil

Tomatoes can do wonders for mental health because they are high in the antioxidant lycopene. This not only gives them their color, but also protects against cell damage. In one study, “Researchers assessed the mental health and dietary habits of 986 Japanese people over the age of 70. They found that those who reported eating tomatoes two to six times a week were 46% less likely to report mild or severe symptoms of depression than those who reported eating tomatoes less than once a week . Check out these recipes for Sun Dried Tomato and Chickpea Stew, Creamy Low FODMAP Tomato Risotto, and Polenta Frittata with Mushrooms, Tomato, and Basil.

Dark green leafy vegetables

Tahini Kale Protein Bowl [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Tahini Kale Protein Bowl

Dark leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, and broccoli are high in vitamin K, beta-carotene, and folic acid. These nutrients do wonders for brain health and can even help slow cognitive decline. Additionally, dark leaf green contains the compound chlorophyll – the pigment that makes plants green, which contains magnesium and has been shown to help reduce anxiety. Check out these recipes for Spinach and Garlic White Bean Dip, Tahini Kale Protein Bowl, and Blanched Collard Wraps.

Related content:

Learn how to prepare plant-based meals at home

Crispy buffalo cauliflower wings

It is known to help reduce meat consumption and eat more plant-based foods chronic inflammation, Heart health, mental wellbeing, Fitness goals, Nutritional needs, Allergies, good health and More! Milk consumption has also been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, Prostate cancer and has many Side effects.

For those of you who want a more plant-based diet, we highly recommend that. to download Food Monster App – With over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest plant-based recipe source to reduce your ecological footprint, save animals and get healthy! And while you’re at it, we encourage you to find out about the environment and health benefits from a vegetable diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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