7 foods that boost mental health

7 foods that boost mental health



A look at some of the best readily-available nutritional options to keep you in the best shape mentally.


7 foods that boost mental health. [nmamilife]

In a world where the inequality gap keeps increasing ever rapidly, mental health issues are on the increase as well.


People are let down by frustrations from lack of opportunities and a general wellbeing that makes them live a better life and as such they go into a state of depression which alters their mental state, which in turn could lead to behaviours not acceptable by societal standards. It can also lead to other sever health complications.

Some try to downplay the severity of mental health problems, insisting they aren’t real and it’s just a case of the victims not being tough enough.

That’s a very wrong assertion. People have different ways of dealing with life’s issues and it should be a point of duty to reach out to those who are struggling to mentally cope.


In these times of uncertainty, it is important to stay healthy to have a strong mindset in conquering lingering problems. Nutrition plays and important part and Pulse runs down on some of the foods to make a habit of eating in bid to boost mental health.

Oats belong to the class of whole grains which important sources of B vitamins that improve brain health. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is involved in the process of turning glucose into energy, Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) is necessary for the production of Acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory), Vitamin B6 helps to convert the Amino Acid Tryptophan, into Serotonin, and Vitamin B12, which is involved in the production of Serotonin and Dopamine among others, all of which help to regulate mood.

Yoghurt is a rich source of probiotics (healthy bacteria in the body). While it largely aids digestive health, probiotics have been shown to play a big role in mental health.

They help in reducing stress, anxiety and depression symptoms. Probiotics also provide potassium and magnesium which aids oxygen supply to the brain.




Oily fish such as Sardines, Tuna and Mackerel, are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help build membranes in the cell in the body, including those of the brain called neurons. High levels of Omega-3 fatty acid increases blood flow in the brain which in turn helps in cognition, thinking and other mental activities.

Leafy vegetables such as African Spinach (Efo Tete), Wild Lettuce (Efo Yanrin), African Basil (Efinrin), Water Leaf (Efo Gbure), Bitter Leaf (Efo Ewuro), Afang Leaf, Ugu and other greens contain Folate, a B vitamin. High intake of Folate found in these greens can decrease depression and improve mood and other mental functions of the brain.

Tomatoes are very rich sources of Vitamin C. Lycopene, a chemical compound which brings out the red colour in tomatoes, can give a boost with memory, attention, alertness, logic and concentration. It also helps to fighting off cell damage in the brain, depression, anxiety, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Eggs have a number of nutrients linked to improved mental health which includes vitamins B6 and B12, Folate, and Choline.

Choline is a micronutrient the body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory and improve other mental functions.

The B vitamins found in eggs meanwhile help slow the progression of mental decline in older adults such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. They also reduce depression.

Bananas are very great for having a healthy mind. They are mood enhancers which affect Tryptophan (an amino acid that produces Serotonin). Tryptophan also helps in giving quality sleep and regulates intake of food. Bananas are equally rich in Potassium, Vitamin B6 and fibre, nutrients all important in boosting mental health.


Kunle is an avid writer with interest in topics on sports, politics and health. His articles have featured in Goal.com, Opera News and Vanguard News. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in International Relations and is an advocate for people living with Hydrocephalus and other neurological conditions.


Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.



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