With all the family potentially traveling, and whole table full of food to prepare, probably one of the last thoughts that crosses your mind is, “How good is your Thanksgiving dinner for your mental health?”
That thought might become even more important though as everyone starts to arrive.
The holidays are known for great food, great fun, and a great time to connect with loved ones. Well… they can also be known for stresses, expenses, and difficult relationships. Honestly a lot of people experience challenges to their mental health during the holidays. So the question is,
“How do we make this time help us improve our mental health?”
And one answer is, what you eat.
At the bottom of this article there is a quiz to help you find foods that will be most beneficial to your mental health. But for now let’s talk about how what you eat plays a role in how you feel.
Pretty much all mental health concerns revolve around overwhelming emotional response. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, eating disorder, addiction, body image issues, trauma… learning to regulate intense emotion is how you heal.
Through current technology we’ve been able to isolate a specific neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer. Serotonin is produced in the brain and helps reduce stress, anxiety, and improve sleep. It also has other physical health benefits like faster healing, healthier bones and better digestion. So yeah it’s a pretty helpful little chemical in your body.
So how do we get more Serotonin?
The easiest way to boost your serotonin production is by eating foods that contain the appropriate amino acids to help you build serotonin. The amino acid primarily involved is tryptophan. You can get supplements that specifically contain tryptophan. You can also adjust your diet to include foods that are naturally high in it.
Look at today’s mental health concerns with anxiety, depression, suicide, trauma, and then compare that with what the average American diet includes. No wonder we are experiencing so many mental health challenges today.
You might be surprised with what foods are good for your mental health.
Take a look below. See what your score is. Consider what mentally healthy foods you might want to add to this year’s Thanksgiving table.
Maybe, just maybe, that might help you to better experience the fun, connecting opportunities the holidays have to offer. How Good Is Your Thanksgiving Dinner For Your Mental Health?