Whether you’re in recovery or not, you may be trying to formulate Valentine’s Day plans either by yourself or with others. Valentine’s Day can bring about a lot of stress and anxiety if you hold certain expectations about the holiday and how it should go. Many people enjoy going out to eat with their friends or significant other, while others may decide to host something at home or simply make a nice dinner for themselves. No matter your circumstance, gift yourself this Valentine’s Day with food that will boost your mental health and recovery.
- Omega 3s. Studies have shown that a diet rich in omega 3s – wild cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel and seaweed have reduced symptoms of schizophrenia, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other mental disorders. Enjoy Valentine’s Day this year by ordering some fish at dinner and, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, get some omega 3 capsules from your local health store.
- Whole grains. Complex carbs such as whole wheat products, bulgur, oats, wild rice, barley, beans, and soy help us feel full longer and provide a steady source of energy throughout our body. Make some wheat dinner rolls or wild rice this Valentine’s Day to boost your energy and keep you feeling refreshed.
- Leafy greens. Spinach, romaine, turnip, mustard greens and broccoli are high in folic acid, which plays a significant role in our immune system functioning. Studies suggest that low folate and vitamin B has been linked to higher rates of depression, fatigue, and insomnia.
- Lean protein. Sources of fish, turkey, chicken, eggs and beans assist with serotonin balance, which influences mood and, if deficient, can lead to symptoms of depression. Incorporate one of these sources of protein for Valentine’s Day this year.
- Yogurt. The perfect breakfast for Valentine’s Day, yogurt and other fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, and tempeh contain active cultures of probiotics that reduce anxiety and stress hormones. Start your day off right with a healthy breakfast that contains yogurt.
Valentine’s Day can cause much mental strain, especially if you are in recovery and feel pressure or are holding too high of expectations for yourself. Nutrition is an important part of both recovery and overall well-being, so including these foods on Valentine’s Day is sure to give you a “leg up” over anxiety, depression, and stress.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment center dedicated to helping you restore your mind, body, and spirit. We offer several different forms of treatment, including nutrition assessment and counseling to ensure your mind and body are fueled for your recovery. Call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.