Foods That Can Improve Your Mental Wellbeing

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Mental health disorders are serious, life-threatening diseases. Yet, people consider mental illnesses to be a weakness. They do not liken conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This is especially true in black communities where the stigma isn’t lessening. If you currently struggle with a mental condition, you can benefit from working with an African American psychotherapist at Black Minds Matter Psychotherapy in Oakland.

In addition to professional help, there are many ways you can treat your condition on your own. Some of the most significant changes begin on your plate. Changing to meals that are rich in nutrients such as protein, complex carbs, and minerals can help to improve your mental wellbeing. If you aren’t eating the following foods in abundance, consider incorporating more of these ingredients into your diet.

Complex carbohydrates

Serotonin, also known as the happy hormone, is the key hormone that brings on feelings of happiness and wellbeing. People who suffer from mental disorders have chemical imbalances where their body does not make enough serotonin. You can enhance the serotonin levels in your brain by eating foods that are high in complex carbs, such as brown rice and starchy vegetables. Natural carbs work in tandem with your brain to increase its availability of serotonin. You can find complex carbohydrates in a variety of food sources, such as:

  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Beets
  • Rolled oats
  • Beans
  • Sweet potatoes

Lean Proteins

People who suffer from mental disorders often have difficulty concentrating and staying focused. When people are depressed, they lack the drive and motivation to achieve life goals. Dopamine is the hormone that helps individuals stay focused, creative, and concentrate better. When there are insufficient levels of dopamine in the brain, naturally this can result in a lack of drive and motivation. Another hormone that helps people concentrate is norepinephrine. Similarly, to dopamine, when the brain produces low levels of norepinephrine, there is less drive to become successful in life.

Many people take prescription medications to correct this imbalance. Your diet can also play a significant role. A diet that includes plenty of lean proteins can increase the levels of these chemicals in the brain. Some lean proteins that can help with concentration, boost motivation and make you feel mort alert are:

  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Beans
  • Tofu

Fatty Acids

Depression is a serious condition that, when untreated, can affect people’s personal and professional relationships. Depression can be caused by external factors, genetics, or both. African American psychotherapy in Oakland can help you develop the coping skills to manage triggers. Once again, your diet can also play a role. Fatty acids travel through the brain and communicate with its mood-related molecules, like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These three molecules can alter one’s mood, ultimately affecting their depression. Fatty acids are critical in how the brain and nervous system function. To introduce more fatty acids, like omega-3s, into your diet, include more:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds


Perhaps you’ve never heard of anthocyanidins, but you probably know about flavonoids. Anthocyanidins are a type of flavonoid that is commonly found in berries. It can improve mental decline, reduce the risk of depression, and minimize the negative effects of stress. Enjoy more snacks with your favorite berries. 

Limit Processed Foods

Limiting processed foods from your diet is just as important as incorporating fatty acids, complex carbs, and other nutrients to improve your wellbeing. It is easy to rely on a tub of ice cream when you’re in a funk or overeat when you’re stressed. However, these are negative habits that will become difficult to break over time. Instead, consider nourishing your mind with the nutrients found in the mood-boosting foods we have listed in this article. It will go a long way in improving your physical and mental wellbeing.

Visit Black Minds Matter Psychotherapy

A diet that is varied and rich in nutrients can boost your mental health. But it is not the only thing you should be doing if you suffer from a mental disorder. We are here to help you along your journey and help you understand the importance of psychotherapy counseling. Our team of professionals will assist you as you unlearn negative behaviors and begin to feel more than anxiousness, depression, stress, and fear. Your journey begins now. For a licensed and highly qualified African American psychotherapist, contact Black Minds Matter Psychotherapy. Call 415-524-8358 to schedule a Zoom appointment.