It’s something that isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with mental health, but there are several common ingredients that are pretty bad for the brain and which can make our mental health worse. By avoiding them, we can improve our brain health and start to feel a little (or a lot) better.
Here are some of the most common ingredients that can harm mental health and some ideas for swapping them:
Swap Sugar for Stevia
Eating excessive amounts of sugar can cause fluctuations in blood sugar, which as well as causing weight gain can also cause mood swings and inflammation of the brain. Research has even shown that excessive sugar consumption can lead to a decline in your mental capacity and your ability to think as clearly as you should be able to. It is also considered to have some impact in depression. So. whether you take sugar in your tea or coffee or you do a lot of baking, switch sugar for the natural sweetener Stevia, and you should notice that you have a clearer head and a greater sense of wellbeing.
Swap Soda for Water
For all of the same reasons above, if you drink a lot of sodas, you should also think about switching them. Flavored sparkling water is a good alternative because it is totally natural and it gives you the same bubbly texture that makes soda so enjoyable. Just make sure that any water you are drinking doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners like aspartame which has been linked to a greater risk of depression, brain tumors, seizures and actually weight gain!
Swap MSG for Soy Sauce
MSG is most commonly found in Chinese food and processed meals. It sure does taste food, but since it is a toxin that affects the nervous system and the brain, if you are struggling with your mental health, it is best avoided. Switching it for soy, which has the same kind of salty, savory flavor or even better mushrooms which are very healthy and have a strong meaty flavor will be much better for you.
Swap Trans fats for Healthy Fats
Trans fats are one of the worst ingredients you can take into your body because they can make you gain weight, and more importantly, they cause inflammation to the brain when eaten in large quantities. It would be much better if you could swap them for brain-boosting natural oils containing omega-3, such as flaxseed oil, walnut oil, and fish oils. Coconut oil, which contains MCT oil is also a good choice. These oils will feed the brain and help to protect against depression and other common mental health issues in conjunction with therapy and medications if your doctor deems them necessary.
Swap Synthetic Scents for Essential Oils
This is not food-based, but if you use a lot of air fresheners and beauty products that contain artificial aromas, switching them out for natural ingredients such as essential oils is probably a good idea because many synthetic aroma-based products contain various brian toxins which are not ideal for brain/mental health.
Eliminate as many of these ingredients as you can from your life and you will all the better for it.