When it comes to improving mental health and cognitive function, there are certain foods that should be avoided. A diet high in red meat, processed meat, baked beans, and fried foods has been linked to inflammation and a faster decline in reasoning over 10 years (1). Animal studies have also shown that rats fed a diet high in fat and sugar for eight months experienced learning problems and negative changes in brain plasticity. Additionally, both lactose and casein can contribute to inflammation in the body and brain, which can lead to mental illness.
Although there is no specific diet for treating depression, eating certain foods and avoiding others can help manage symptoms. Eating a diet low in processed foods and high in fresh plant-based foods and healthy fats can help improve symptoms. It is important to focus on variety and follow a well-balanced diet with a variety of plant-based foods. Organic, whole, grass-fed dairy products are still included in my free food guide because it is a healthy whole food that many people can tolerate without problems.
Additionally, foods such as red peppers, oranges, strawberries, and other foods rich in vitamin C can prevent cognitive decline since vitamin C is related to cognitive function. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals receive little training in nutrition and rarely consider food intolerances as a possible cause of mental health symptoms. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential effects of certain foods on mental health and cognitive function. By avoiding certain foods and eating more of others, it is possible to improve mental health and cognitive function.