Having to deal with stress and anxiety on a daily basis has widely become the norm in our modern world. And with these come different forms of mental impairment, such as brain fog, difficulty focusing, depression and mental fatigue.
There is no shortage of quick-fix medications that can take care of your mental problems, in a way or another, but I would like to focus on a more holistic and natural solution; nutritional remedies.
Besides other factors, the food you eat can have a significant effect on your mental well-being. There are no miraculous foods that can instantly boost your brain power or mood, but by eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods you will provide your system with the right tools it needs to support your mental function on a daily basis and in the long run.
A good snack can effectively satisfy your taste buds, soothe and energize your body and mind, and comfort your soul! The following are some of my favorite snack foods that help keep me mentally strong, relaxed and breezy 🙂
I love sipping hot aromatic teas while reading, watching TV, working, etc. Whenever I go to the supermarket I often pick up a pack (or more) of some herbal tea. Green tea is one of my favorites, and it has been shown to induce relaxation and enhance cognitive functions. Sage is also a top choice of mine, and it can help with depression, memory disorders and other health problems. Chamomile is quite a savory drink and it helps with anxiety and depression.
There are many other great tea choices that boost your mental and physical health; including rosemary, peppermint, thyme, lemon balm, ginseng, and others. Using the fresh plants to make a tea is always the better and healthier option when available, otherwise, the dried and bagged ones you find at grocery stores are also great.
I usually prefer my tea a little sweet, so I add some sugar to it and sometimes substitute it with a teaspoon of honey. As a matter of fact, honey in its own right is good for your brain as it has been shown to possess neuroprotective, antidepressant and anxiolytic effects.
You won’t find many snacks that are both satisfying and healthy, but nuts sure make one of those. Nuts are a rich source of many vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fatty acids.
Walnuts in particular are beneficial for your brain and may help enhance cognitive functions. One study found that consumption of raw walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts increases the levels of serotonin in the body, which translates into happier mood and reduced feeling of hunger.
One of my absolute best snacks is a cup of raw walnuts and almonds mixed with half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey — super delicious, super nutritious, and super advantageous for your brain health! But beware, there are a lot of calories in this one, so keep it under control.
Speaking of healthy satisfying snacks, here is one you probably don’t consume very often, if at all; dates. I usually go for this energy-packed fruit to satisfy my sweet cravings, and it does the trick!
Dates are a remarkable source of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and magnesium, both of which are important for cognitive functions and mental wellness. Dates also include many other vitamins and minerals the body needs for optimal health, plus they are a rich source of dietary fiber and thus help with digestion.
Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries are all smart choices for a quick snack. They are loaded with powerful flavonoids and other naturally occurring compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer effects.
Studies show that berries have neuroprotective activity, and may improve motor and cognitive functions. Studies also confirmed some heart-healthy effects of berries, especially for people suffering from high blood pressure.
Fresh or dried, these little colorful delights of nature taste great and make you feel great!
If you are looking for a natural and palatable alternative to your multivitamin, try avocados! This super fruit packs more than 20 vitamins and minerals, in addition to other health-promoting nutrients.
Despite having a high fat content, it is mostly monounsaturated fats, which are good for your health as they reduce bad cholesterol levels and protect from cardiovascular disease.
Avocados are commonly suggested as a mood booster and aphrodisiac, and although there is no scientific evidence for these claims, I can confirm from personal experience that it indeed does feel good to sit down with a whole avocado in one hand and a knife in the other, and just peel, slice and enjoy the rich flavor of this marvelous fruit. Alternatively, you can make an avocado salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, cheese, chicken/tuna, and/or whatever you like.
And here is one of my favorite wraps which I’m sure you’ll fall in love with at first try; grab a tortilla and smear it with some hummus and add to it tuna, slices of avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, red cabbage and onions, then wrap it and enjoy it with a hot cup of tea. Advice: you may want to make two of these in advance 😉 Well, my mouth is watering right now! 🙂
Warning: This prestigious fruit can be highly addictive, and it is quite expensive!