How to Boost Your Mental Health with a Vegan Diet - Coconut Whisk

How to Boost Your Mental Health with a Vegan Diet

With national and international issues piling up, many Americans aren't feeling too great. In fact, the  Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that 55%  of women and 35% of men are suffering from poor mental health because of health issues, job insecurity, and family problems. This rapid increase in
people’s stress and anxiety levels over the past few years is alarming. Thus, the CDC is taking action by recommending mental health interventions, such as taking much-needed breaks, following a healthy diet, and seeking medical help. Getting medical help is the first step towards achieving better mental health, which is why there’s a greater need for mental healthcare professionals in the US.  Maryville University even notes that nurse practitioners specializing in psychiatric mental health are becoming more in demand due to a shortage of licensed psychiatrists. Thanks to these mental healthcare professionals, more Americans can get access to medications, psychotherapy techniques, traditional medicines, and lifestyle interventions that can boost their well-being. One of the lifestyle interventions that can boost your mood is a healthy vegan diet, and healthcare professionals have long supported the link between mood and healthier eating habits. Here’s how you
can make a plant-based diet work for you:

Choose quality vegan ingredients

You may think that plant-based foods are the same, but each one can have a different quality and a different effect on your mental health. A study conducted by Central Queensland University researchers emphasized that you need to pay attention to the overall quality of your diet to reduce your risk of depression. The study stated that plant foods rich in complex carbs, fiber, and probiotics can decrease the symptoms of depression. On the other hand, vegan junk foods, like fried potatoes or even fruit juice, don't give enough nourishment for both your body and your mind. Increase your energy with food rich in vitamin B12

Are you feeling exhausted and drained all the time? While it’s normal for some to feel tired, people struggling with anxiety and depression have lower energy levels for longer.

For a boost of energy, our article on  the ‘Considerations of a Plant-Based Diets for Seniors’  recommends consuming cereals, soy yogurts, yeast extracts, or plant-based milks that are rich in vitamin B12. On top of that, this vitamin also aids in maintaining a healthy nervous system. This is super important because your nervous system regulates your cortisol production and lowers your stress levels.

Load up on the antioxidants and amino acids

Aside from consuming food rich in vitamin B12, you can also improve your health by eating plant-based foods that have lots of antioxidants and amino acids. Nagoya University researchers pointed out that seasonal depression is associated with a decrease in antioxidants and amino acids. Fortunately, the vegan diet tends to provide more antioxidants. However, it does tend to be lacking in specific amino acids, which is why it’s recommended that you eat more rice, soybeans, and quinoa to boost your overall mental well-being.
If you're facing a tough period in life, it's important to take better care of your mental health. Starting with healthy lifestyle changes is one way that you can nourish your body and improve your mental well-being overall. And if you need more help on this front, try consulting a registered dietitian or healthcare professional for more diet guidance.

Written by Aleah Kirsten Couch
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