For many, a diet is centered primarily on losing weight and finding a healthy lifestyle that works for an individual. Physical health is important, but a proper diet can also help with mental health and wellness. Certain foods have been found to resemble the body parts with which they have a direct effect of helping. Walnuts, in particular, not only resemble the brain, but boost it as well.
Cracking open the facts on walnuts
It is not widely known certain foods have been found to alleviate stress and improve the brain’s focus and retention. A study was done at Penn State in 2010 that discovered how walnuts and walnut oil help with the body’s response to stress. Researchers studied 22 adults with heightened low density lipoproteins — LDL — also known as bad cholesterol. The food was provided for the next six weeks and results showed having walnuts included in the diet lowered bad cholesterol and responses to stress.
The diets for all participants were set to be equal amounts of calorie intake with varying amounts of walnuts. After the six week period, the participants were put through two separate stress tests. Participants’ experienced proportional levels of lowered blood pressure. It goes to show how incorporating certain healthy foods into a diet can have physical and mental benefits.
Walnuts contain an Omega 3 fatty acid which is an extremely important compound to the body and unfortunately, cannot be generated by our system. The only way to receive Omega 3 fatty acids is through food or pill consumption. Dr. Frank Sacks, Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, at Harvard school of Public Health writes that, “We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain.”
“The American Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Therapeutics,” explains how several other foods are in fact beneficial for the body parts they resemble. In celebrating wellness this May, it seems almost magical that the secret to eating to boost organ function could be as black and white as a game of charades.
One word, looks like — boosting organ function with similar-looking food
This first one may not be as much of a surprise: carrots. Carrots are good for your eyes and if sliced right, look extremely similar to an eye. “Carrots are filled with vitamins and antioxidants, like beta-carotene, which decrease the chance of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older people,” as stated in the medical journal article.
Here’s a hint for this next one: this food contains 23 percent sodium and goes well with peanut butter or cheese. That’s right, ironically, celery contains the precise sodium ratio as do the bones in the body. Also, if the body is lacking in sodium, it will take what it can from the bones, weakening the body frame.
Beans are than just a musical fruit, the more you eat, the more you help your kidneys. Beans not only strongly resemble your kidneys, but they help in maintaining kidney functions.
This next one inevitably makes people cry and it turns out, that can be beneficial to health. Onions look like blood cells and clean out waste from cells in the body. It has even been found that when onions cause tears, they are helping to clean the epithelial layers of the eyes.
This one is red, like the blood pumping through your body and the passion in your heart; it even resembles the heart when you slice it in half. Tomatoes resemble the heart and contain lycopene, a chemical found in plants that reduces the risk of heart disease and has been found to help with LDL.
Listen closely, because mushrooms are good for hearing. They contain vitamin D which is beneficial to the bones in the body even with the tiny bones in the ear.
Sweet potatoes are great for your pancreas and not just delicious as french-fries. Sweet potatoes contain a potent antioxidant, beta carotene, which protects the tissue of the pancreas and throughout the body as well.
Eating your way to a positive and healthier life
Incorporating helpful nutrients into your diet can be a simple action of sprinkling walnuts on a salad or incorporating carrots into an afternoon snack. It is about implementing healthier foods into the daily lifestyle. Of course, a diet solely made up of walnuts will not cure someone of a stress or anxiety disorder, but integrating other possible treatment methods can help boost mental health.
While it is still unknown if exercise and healthy diet of certain foods are a complete cure to mental health, they have been proven to help with mental wellness. For an individual looking to lose weight or deal with stress, a personalized regimen of diet and exercise can go a long way to increasing a positive outlook on life.
For more resources to find treatment for mental health disorders and maintain mental health wellness, call the Sovereign Mental Health Services helpline at 866-954-0529.