best mental health boosting foods

5 Foods That’ll Seriously Improve Your Mental Health

These foods will make your brain sharper and help you feel good

If you want to improve your mental health and boost your mood, eating certain foods can help.

Mental health is rooted in your social, psychological, and emotional well-being.

Also, it is the absence of mental illness and our ability to function within the environment.

According to WHO, the most essential component of mental health is the realization of the potential to manage stress. 

A study shows that mental health directly relates to our:

  • behavior
  • emotions
  • cognition
  • social skills
  • academic and occupational performance
  • physical and sexual health, and
  • quality of life

CDC reports that every 1 out of 5 adults suffers from mental illness every year in the United States.

Furthermore, 1 in 25 people in America experiences serious mental disorders. 

In this post, we’ll discuss some foods to eat that can help improve our mental health.

Let’s dive in.

1. Dark leafy green vegetable

Dark leafy green vegetables like lettuce, kale, and spinach are crucial to help boost your mental health.

A related study shows that consuming the daily recommended amounts of green leafy vegetables can help boost cognitive clarity as we age.

Leafy green vegetables contain folic acid which prevents your body from getting insomnia and depression.

Additionally, these vegetables keep your immune system healthy.

2. Lean protein

Meat, chicken, seeds, eggs, and fish contain a significant amount of lean protein. 

They are the foods to improve mental clarity. Lean proteins provide energy to the body to think and react swiftly.

Lean proteins have tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that produces the serotonin hormone.

Why is that important?

Serotonin is the monoamine neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in the treatment of mental disorders. 

It helps to fight depression. This results in the maintenance of strong memory of the brain.

3. Berries


Do you know why berries are famous to be called “superfoods”?

It is because they contain polyphenolic compounds having antioxidant properties.

Berries can help reduce biomarkers and decrease the risk of neurological decline.

Berries protect the vulnerable regions of the brain and help against cognitive performance decline.

In this way, they improve can help fight against anxiety, sluggishness, and depression.

4. Whole grains

Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that provide energy. They are complex carbohydrates.

Foods like oats, beans, popcorn, and brown rice fall into this category.

They are tryptophan-rich foods. Tryptophan further enhances the production of the feel-good hormone, “serotonin” in the body.

Serotonin fights depression and maintains sharp memory.

Whole grains are the foods that boost mental performance by clearing your mind, promoting good sleep, and reducing mood swings.

They are responsible for the improved flow of blood to the brain. This leads to healing from depression and anxiety.

5. Healthy fats

Fish, nuts, flaxseeds, coconut, avocado, and olives are some common sources of healthy fats.

PUFAs have vital functions when it comes to neuron activity.


Omega-3 fatty acids have a structural role in neuronal cell membranes. They perform essential functions in the central nervous system.

They also help in improving focus and strengthening long-term memory.

So it’s justified to say that healthy fats are also mental health-boosting foods. They do so by providing support to brain function and concentration.

Related: 20 Foods High in Healthy Fat That’s Not Avocado

6. Complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are polysaccharides that occur naturally.

Complex carbohydrate-rich foods, like starchy vegetables and brown rice, trigger insulin release.

A study shows the cells utilize blood sugar for energy. This triggers tryptophan entry into the brain.

It eventually promotes good feelings by keeping us satisfied for longer periods and improves mental health.

7. Probiotics

As stated by WHO, live microorganisms like probiotics are beneficial for host health when they are administered in suitable amounts.


Foods like kefir, yogurt, and pickled vegetables contain probiotics. The bacteria in these foods are gut-friendly.

Research proves that they improve gut health and their connection to your brain.


Research has proved that a healthy gut-brain relationship is essential to improving mental health.

Healthy foods lead to the enhanced growth of good bacteria in your gut. This improved microbiota impacts positively your brain. 

However, unhealthy foods lead to inflammation. It stops the growth of good bacteria and starts the growth of bad bacteria in your gut.

Add some foods we have discussed in this article to improve mental health and boost mood.