Guest Blogger Dave Kahn, Vice President of Culinary Services
Quick Tips from Chef Dave:
Eat the Rainbow
Colorful fruits and vegetables such as apples, tomatoes, red peppers, blueberries etc. have higher antioxidant content, which in turn has been found to lower the rates of depression. The antioxidants also combat inflammation, which is linked to mental health. All with the added bonus these foods also provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber - important for overall health including mental health.
Importance of Protein
Adequate protein consumption with every meal (from sources such as meat, eggs, fish, beans, & tofu) have also been linked to adequate Tryptophan production, which in turn helps produce Serotonin, the ‘happiness hormone.’ Our entrées at Traditions have at least 14G of protein per meal.
Indulge in Healthy Fats
The healthy fats listed below have all been linked to better cell wall and brain health, which in turn may lower depression. Furthermore, these healthy fats, which are often rich in Omega 3, have also been found to lower overall inflammation. At Traditions, we regularly utilize Extra Virgin Olive Oil in our recipes. Salmon is also on our standing menu.
Link Between Key Vitamins & Folate to Mental Wellbeing
B vitamins, and especially Folate and B12 have also been found to relate to the state of mental health too. The best food sources of B vitamins are wholegrains (brown rice, barley), meat, seeds, nuts, eggs, legumes (such as lentils), dark leafy green vegetables and citrus fruit.
Cannot Go Wrong with Classic Balanced Diet
Make sure that each of your meals is balanced and it contains goods fats, protein and fiber from fruits and vegetables (frozen are fine).
There are a number of foods which have been found to negatively affect mental health too. These include excess sugar containing foods and drinks, refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, biscuits, cakes etc.) and excess alcohol. Try to reduce consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars as well as alcohol. At Traditions, we use honey in place of refined sugars whenever possible.