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Eating for Mental Health:
Nutrition Tips

Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team

What you eat can impact your mental health:
How you think, how you feel emotionally and your outlook on daily stressors.
Pay attention to how and what you eat to keep mood shifts at bay.

Your mental health affects every aspect of daily living: your physical health, energy level, social relationships and ability to cope with life’s challenges.

If you find yourself struggling with ways to help your mind process the ups and downs of the times, there’s good news. Your meal plan is a direct tool for helping your brain function at its best. It may take a bit of practice to introduce new behaviors into your daily routine, but you can do it. Let’s get started.


Stabilize Energy, Stabilize Mood

Keep your energy levels even keel by maintaining your blood sugar to minimize peaks and valleys in mood. Eat regularly scheduled meals with hydration from water and servings from the 5 Food Groups—Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Protein Foods and Dairy. Doing so provides a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant‍-‍acting plant compounds that help your body to work efficiently for overall well‍-‍being.


Color Half Your Plate

Every Food Group is important, but consistently shoot for half of each meal to come from vegetables and fruit. Weave more plants into meals and snacks by selecting a variety of colors, textures and types. For example, include orange citrus, purple berries, red tree fruit, yellow stringy winter squash, deep‍-‍colored leafy greens and bright white cruciferous vegetables.


Fill Up With All Types

Building meals and snacks around all forms of fruits and vegetables—fresh, frozen, canned, juiced and dried—is essential. Shop the array of colors, textures and types of produce throughout the aisles just waiting to help you feel and perform your best.

Reviewed 4/25/2022