What Foods Improve Mental Health?

Having good mental health is more than just not having a mental health disorder. Many people diagnosed with an emotional or mental health condition still feel happy and at ease with their lives. Good mental health is the quality of your thoughts and behaviors, and if your emotions are more often uplifting, they are negative. The scale on how to measure your mental health is called the Positive Mental Health Scale. The National Institute of Health presents the scale as a statement questionnaire that will ask you about the quality of your life.  

Sample rating statements from the PMH scale include:  I am often carefree and in good spirits; I enjoy my life; I manage well to fulfill my needs. (PMH)

What Foods Improve Mental Health?

Weight and Mental Health

Whether you are overweight or underweight, we cannot deny that what we look like affects our mood and our quality of mental health. Many people struggling with an emotional or mental health disorder, including substance use disorders (addictions), struggle with low self-esteem. The number on the scale can often dictate how someone feels about who they are as a person far more than it should—yet having a positive mental outlook about life can result from what you are eating regardless of how big or small your pants are. 

Poor self-esteem and weight coincide far more for women than men. However, high self-esteem does not reflect body weight but self-appreciation. 

Can Foods Improve Your Mental Health?

Aside from the weight and how it makes us feel about ourselves, there are foods that science and research have proven to improve a person’s mood and mental health. Unfortunately, the foods that cause a person to feel depressed or agitated are many people’s favorites: caffeine and sugar—another less than good food, typically processed food, made from more than one ingredient. Chips, breads, sauces, crackers, cookies, cakes, and pasta are some examples of processed foods. The foods that the National Center for Biotechnology Information advances in science and health recommends for improving mental health include: 

  • Fish 
  • Seafood 
  • Beans & legumes 
  • Leafy greens 
  • Vegetables 
  • Olive oil 
  • Yogurt 
  • Nuts
Each of these types of food can be an effective and relatively simple way to promote mental health and recovery from mental illness that can easily be integrated into health care. (NCBI)

More About Foods to Improve Your Mood

The basics of eating to support your mood and mental health mean avoiding or using very small amounts of sugar and caffeine; to increase whole foods and minimize processed foods. Still, there are more items to consider when planning to help your mind and feelings be their best. These foods will provide you energy and balance your blood sugar levels with much-needed vitamins and minerals. 

Whole Grains convert to glucose which is our body’s energy source. So be sure to add in plenty of complex carbohydrates from whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, soybeans, oats, and chia or flax meal. Leafy Greens are already mentioned, but they are packed with good mood perks because of the folic acid. Eat more spinach, kale, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables as they are high in folic acid, which reduces depression. 

Good Mental Health Can be Yours With a Quick Phone Call

To achieve a more positive state of mind, many people need professional help to eat better foods. Our professional treatment and therapist connections can give you the support you deserve. Do not let another day go by not enjoying life. The programs we can admit you to include evidence-based addiction treatment, dual diagnosis therapy/rehab, and in-depth counseling for numerous mental and emotional health diagnoses.  

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