Enjoying a produce-packed meal or snack can give you a nice mental break from your busy schedule and fuel your body to tackle your day. Fruits and vegetables add vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber; plus, lots of color to your plate making meals appetizing and more fun! Plus, eating nutrient-rich produce can leave you feeling content and proud that you are taking steps to care for yourself.
Root for your mental health this May with these top produce picks:
Illness can often contribute to a poor mood – no one enjoys being sick! Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and fiber to support a healthy immune system. They also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium to promote strong bones and muscle function. Pop a clementine into your lunch box for a refreshing addition to your meal or snack.
Potatoes, winter squash, peas, corn, beans, and whole grains are all plants that provide carbohydrates or starches, which are the body’s primary energy source. Starch is broken down into glucose, or sugar, which is the preferable nutrient that can pass the blood-brain barrier to feed the brain. These starches are high in fiber and other nutrients that give us energy and help our bodies make brain chemicals that influence emotions to keep us feeling happy.
A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cauliflower has beneficial phytochemicals that may play a role in preventing disease and inflammation. Cauliflower also contains B-vitamins to support a healthy metabolism. A healthy body and metabolism gives you energy to do your best and feel your best. You guessed it – cauliflower can also be roasted in the oven, eaten raw, or “riced” and added to recipes like pizza crust or mashed potatoes.
While loaded with lots of nutrients, mushrooms can also contain vitamin D if they are exposed to light during their growth process. Vitamin D is important for bone health, but can also impact mood and mental health. Eat mushrooms raw, cooked, or pureed and blended with ground meats in your favorite recipes like burgers, tacos, or meatballs.