Dark chocolate is predicted to be a healthy snack during exercise because it can improve your athletic performance. On the other hand, chocolate has been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and lower blood pressure, which triggers feelings of calm and happiness. What about good food for mental health?

The best food choices for mental health

Here are the 5 best food intakes for mental health that you should know:

1. Fish fat

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, have been shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia , depression, ADHD syndrome and other mental disorders. In addition, someone who regularly eats fish can also slow the cognitive decline of the brain that is affected by age.

A 2005 study in the journal Archives of Neurology found that a 65-year-old who ate fish twice a week for six years had a 13 percent reduction in cognitive function compared to those who didn’t eat it regularly. This happens because of the influence of omega-3 acids on the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, the brain chemicals responsible for our mood.

2. Whole Grain

Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel consisting of sugar. Carbohydrates are basically divided into two types, namely: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are broken down easily in the body. But unfortunately, simple carbohydrates can trigger a significant increase in blood sugar levels.

While complex carbohydrates take longer to break down sugars, they provide longer energy stores. Based on research, excessive sugar intake can increase common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Well, whole grains are included in complex carbohydrates which in addition to being rich in fiber also provide a good source of fuel for the brain and body so that it can be associated with better psychological health.

3. Green vegetables

The benefits of green vegetables for health are no longer in doubt. Amino acids contained in green vegetables are very influential on the production of hormones that control a person’s mood. Leafy greens such as spinach , radishes, mustard greens, and broccoli are high in folic acid, as are beets and lentils. Deficiencies of folate and other B vitamins are associated with higher rates of depression, fatigue and insomnia. That’s why it’s important to add green vegetables to your daily diet to help improve brain function and overall mental health.

4. Berries

Berries are often included in the list of healthy snacks and desserts everyday. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that supplements in wild blueberry juice helped nine adults restore their memories. Meanwhile, in a 2009 report in the Journal of Nutrition stated that blue berries and strawberries have high antioxidant content. The fruit can also reduce stress and aging and increase brain capture.

5. Yogurt

Various types of fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, pickles, kefir, tofu, and tempeh contain good bacteria called probiotics . Probiotics can help relieve depression because they contain good bacteria called Lactobacillus. In the intestine, Lactobacillus is responsible for expelling bad bacteria that cause damage, for example blocking the production of the hormones serotonin and dopamine. Well, low levels of these two hormones can make your mood more sad and gloomy. That is why, taking p robotic regular basis can be a factor in reducing the symptoms of anxiety disorders as well as against damage in the brain.