16 Summer Fruits & Vegetables That May Help With Brain Health & Mental Health by Dr. Teralyn Sell
We are now in the full swing of the dog days of summer! This means a lot more stress is being placed on the body to keep us cool and everything running efficiently as we go about our day. So what are some of the classic and not-so-classic summer foods that we can eat to keep our mental health balanced and brains happy?
Fruits and vegetables are the perfect fit for brain health and mental well-being. Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense providing your brain and body with essential nutrients that are necessary for neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
Here are the top fruits and veggies that I recommend eating to help with your brain and mental health:
- Berries: Berries including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and red raspberries are highlighted as some of the healthiest fruit choices. Berries are full of antioxidants, which help reduce oxidative stress. They are nutrient dense and fiber rich, which helps stabilize blood sugar and helps in the reduction of inflammation – all essential to improve the health of your brain.
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens, including spinach, kale, watercress, arugula and chard are all rich in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamin C, A and K as well as folate. All of these nutrients are essential for healthy neurotransmitter production (dopamine and serotonin). Leafy greens are anti-inflammatory and help slow cognitive decline.
- More Veggies: Eat a rainbow of vegetables including bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes. All of these veggies are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamin C and vitamin A. Because of their fiber content, they are great for improving the health of your gut, which is essential to the health of your brain.
- Melons: Melons, including cantaloupes, honeydew melon and watermelon, are great for hydration as they are primarily made up of water. Additionally, they are rich in vitamin C which is a great antioxidant as well as for cortisol production to help you fight off stress.
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