Brooke Marie

Cook. Explore. Eat. Repeat
Health and Fitness

SUPERFOODS for Mental Health!

Superfoods

As you all know, I am an advocate for mental health. I am an advocate because for one I’ve struggled with symptoms and am on the journey of healing and recovery, two, mental health is so stigmatized and I’d like to contribute to lessening that negative impact, and three – I have found some pretty awesome ways to combat the physical and emotional symptoms that come from my mental health struggles and I want to share them with all of you! We’ve all heard about “superfoods” and how good they are for you. We generally hear about why they’re good for your PHYSICAL health. Obviously, a healthy body helps lead to a healthy mind, but a healthy mind can contribute to you actually having the energy to make your physical body healthier too! If your mindset isn’t there, things like working out can be incredibly difficult! (here’s a simple fitness routine you can try at home!)

 

So here’s a list of my all time favorite superfoods, their nutritional benefits, and simple ways to integrate them into your healthy lifestyle! I’ve also included a few recipe links as well. Enjoy!

Some of my favorite delicious superfoods in one list! A detailed list of why these superfoods are good for you! | www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

Superfoods are all the rage right now, and for good reason! There are tons of superfoods out there, and I’m going to list my favorites, their benefits, and ways to incorporate them into your diet that are simple and super easy to accomplish!

Avocados

Avocados | 1 of 9 of my fave superfoods | www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

Avocados are one of the most popular out of the superfoods because they taste good, and they contain that GOOD fat. Oleic Acid, which is found in avocados, can actually be known to stifle hunger! So if you’re craving something to eat or thinking about a late night snack, grab an avocado and fight off your hunger! This fruit is also packed with protein and fiber!

As far as mental health goes – avocados contain Omega 3’s which is a fatty acid that helps combat inflammation in the brain. Along with being packed with tryptophan and folate, avocados can help regulate neurotransmitters.

Obviously a simple recipe would be guacamole, but you can also as a staple of a hearty summer salad, toss a couple pieces on your breakfast scramble, or even slip a couple slices into your morning smoothie! You can also use it in a simple and healthy tuna avocado roll! Or you can eat half an avocado sprinkled with a little sesame seeds and salt. Delicious!

Recipes!

Guacamole

Avocado, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Tuna, Avocado, and Cucumber Sushi Roll

Carne Asada Tacos with Guacamole

Mini Sweet Potato Nachos with Guacamole

Beets

Beets | 2 of 5 of my favorite superfoods | Has cancer fighting properties and much more! | www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

First of all, I love beets! Secondly, they’re super duper good for you. Beets are high in betalain, which is a super potent antioxidant that can help fight cancer and other degenerative diseases. Beets are also full of Vitamins A, B, and C which all contribute to boosting your immune system, which can help fight off colds and other common illnesses. This superfood contains fiber, which is good for your digestive tract and maintains heart health, and also contain potassium which is essential for proper organ function.

Beets have also been linked to slowing the effects of dementia and Alzheimers! The folic acid it contains can also prevent damage to the hippocampus, which has been linked to symptoms of major depression.

I love a good roasted beet recipe. I wash the beets really well, rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap in tin foil. Heat your oven to 400 degrees and cook for about 45 minutes until soft. Remove the skins, let cool, and add to your favorite salad or eat by themselves!

Black Beans

Black Beans | 3 of 9 superfoods | SUPER high in fiber! | www.the-babbling-brooke.com

  • Nutritional Benefits:

Black beans are PACKED with protein, but contain none of the saturated fats that other sources of protein do (like red meat). One cup of black beans contains 50% of your daily recommended dosage of fiber, and about 20% of your daily recommended serving of iron!

Just like our other two superfoods so far, black beans are full of folate which have been known to improve the efficacy of antidepressants. So for someone who is already on medication for depression, black beans will boost their properties. For someone who isn’t, studies on folic acid have shown that supplementation of folic acid can actually thicken your brain tissue – meaning the risk of Alzheimers and other neuro-degenerative diseases (such as severe mental illness such as schizophrenia) is greatly reduced.

As far as superfoods go, this is one that’s easily incorporated into meals. You can turn these delicious little morsels into a hummus, or you can incorporate them into a delicious one pot meal like this One Pot Mexican Chicken and Cauliflower rice recipe. You can also make a really simple Mexican style bowl with cauliflower rice, black beans, homemade salsa, and a delicious homemade guacamole!

Recipes!

One Pot Mexican Chicken and “Rice”

Blueberries

Blueberries | 4 of 9 superfoods | Super high in Vitamin C! |www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants! They can lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, and they’re also anti-inflammatory. It can also lower blood pressure, and blueberries are rich in Vitamin C. It can also speed up your metabolism.

In the mental health arena – blueberries can actually increase the levels of serotonin in your brain, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for well-being and happiness.

You can easily incorporate blueberries into your meal by adding them to any smoothie or fruit salad. I like eating a bowl full of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries in a bowl full of delicious, low carb coconut milk! You can make a “healthy-ish” adult drink like this mojito.  You can also add them to a bowl of oatmeal, or a bowl of cereal in the morning!

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds | 5 of 9 Superfoods | High in fiber and protein | www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

These little babies are FULL of protein and fiber. Per ounce, they contain 10g of fiber and nearly 5g of protein! That’s only 3 tablespoons! There are also rumors that chia seeds can help lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss, but these claims haven’t been scientifically proven, however. Chia seeds are full of Omega 3’s as well, which can help deal with depression and major mood swings. 

Working these little gems into your diet is simple! Adding chia seeds to your morning smoothie or cereal gives them quite a nice texture, as they can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water! This makes them an awesome addition to any meal – from a smoothie to pancakes!

Flax Seeds
Flax Seeds | 6 of 9 superfoods | Promotes healthy digestion | www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

Flax is high in fiber, but this superfood is also believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It is also known to support healthy digestion (thanks to the fiber) and regulate blood sugar levels which can be beneficial to diabetics or for those who are at risk for diabetes. Flax is full of Omega 3’s as well, which can help deal with depression and major mood swings. 

Incorporating flax into your diet is just as easy as Chia seeds! Add them to a morning smoothie, or use flax meal in a pancake recipe. Remember to up your intake of water when consuming flax seed, as it contains a lot of fiber.

Ginger

Ginger | 7 of 9 superfoods | Can help reduce inflammation | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

Ginger is quite the superfood. It’s been used to treat nausea, hair loss, burns, diarrhea, and upper respiratory infections. Ginger has been found to reduce nausea associated with morning sickness, and even chemotherapy induced nausea. Ginger can also reduce the soreness of tired muscles because it inhibits enzymes that cause inflammation. It also contains antioxidants which have been shown to slow the onset of certain cancers.

Over 100 compounds are found in ginger, and 50 of them are antioxidants. Antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties which is important for mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD because they are linked to inflammation in the brain.

I’m a huge advocate of the ginger lemon shot. I juice one ginger root, and about 6 lemons, and pour into a jar. It lasts me the entire week, sometimes two! Otherwise, you can mix it into salad dressings, take it as a capsule, or grind it into a paste for curries and stews.

Recipes!

Ginger, Mint, Lemon Limeade

Khmer Chicken Curry

Lemon

Lemons | 8 of 9 Superfoods | Promotes the creation of collagen to heal the body | www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

I’ve spoken on the benefits of drinking warm lemon water every day, and I stick by it! Lemons are full of antioxidants and Vitamin C. This aids your body in producing collagen, which can reduce the risk of aneurisms, depression and anxiety, broken bones, and torn muscles. Collagen is what helps your body repair any damage and keep your body’s structures strong. Lemons can also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer!

Drink lemon water, use lemon in salad dressings, make a simple grilled chicken with garlic and lemon juice, and drink lemon ginger shots in the morning!

Recipes!

Ginger, Mint, Lemon, Limeade

Lemon Water

Shrimp Skewers with Lemon and Garlic

Coleslaw with Cilantro and Lime

Kale Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette

Simple Grilled Salmon with Lemon, Salt, and Pepper

Simple Mussels Pasta with Lemon Zest

Quinoa

Quinoa | 9 of 9 Superfoods | A great source of non-meat protein! | www.the-babbling-brooke.com | The Babbling Brooke

  • Nutritional Benefits:

Quinoa is high in protein and low in saturated fats, which can make it a better source of protein than red meat. A study done in Brazil in 2009 also showed that quinoa helped reduce the blood glucose levels of diabetic patients. Consuming quinoa on a regular basis can also help to lower blood pressure, suppress the appetite, and help to slow the aging process. Quinoa has also been known to fight anxiety and depression.

Quinoa is super easy to incorporate into your diet thanks to it’s neutral flavor. I use it in place of rice a lot, or in a cold salad such as this Seared Ahi Tuna Salad recipe. You can also use it in a breakfast recipe such as a quinoa and kale egg bake, or simple use it as a side dish with butter and salt with a nice grilled salmon.

Recipes!

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad


There you have it! These are the superfoods I eat fairly regularly and these are the superfoods I stand by thanks to their nutritional benefits, taste, and how easy they are to incorporate into you diet!

*All photos were taken and are owned by The Babbling Brooke, and protected under the Creative Commons License. Any unauthorized use will be pursued with legal action.

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