Can Your Diet Affect Your Mental Health?

Updated: May 6

The food we eat provides us with energy for the body, but it also contains important nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are essential to our body’s wellness as they enable the body to complete hundreds of jobs, which are vital for day-to-day function.

Vitamins and minerals help with energy production, hormone production, wound healing, immune system function, and much more. A deficiency of essential nutrients is known to contribute to the start of a decline in mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression. Education is so important, yet many of us are unaware of the impact of what the foods we eat are doing, and in some cases, not doing for us.


We would like to share with you the vitamins and minerals that your body requires and some of the foods that you can find them in, which will enable you to plan your meals with more clarity and understanding.

Water-soluble vitamins

B Vitamins

Oats, whole wheat, rye, buckwheat, brown rice, peanuts, mushrooms, soybean flour and soybeans, split peas, pecans, sunflower seeds, lentils, cashews, chickpeas, broccoli, hazelnuts, peppers.

B12

Oysters, mussels, scallops, liver, mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, crab, beef, eggs, yogurt, Swiss cheese, fortified products.

Vitamin C

Red peppers, guavas, kale, kiwi, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, oranges, tomatoes, peas, mange tout, papaya, mango, pineapple, melon.

Fat-soluble vitamins

Vitamin A

(Retinol) Liver, beef, lamb, cod liver oil, mackerel, salmon, tuna, paté, goat’s cheese, eggs, cheddar, cream cheese, butter, goat’s cheese.


Beta Carotene


Sweet potato, carrots, kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, pak choi, butternut squash, pumpkin, cos lettuce, romaine lettuce, mango, dried apricots, prunes, peaches, melon, red peppers, tuna fish, mackerel, butter.

Vitamin D

Salmon, trout, swordfish, mackerel, tuna, buttermilk, some yogurt, mushrooms, eggs, fortified products.

Vitamin E

Spinach, kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collards, avocado, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, sunflowers seeds, prawn/shrimp, salmon, smoked salmon, swordfish, herring, trout, olive oil, sunflower oil, sweet potato, squashes, kiwi, mango, peach, nectarines, apricots, guava, raspberries, blackberries.

Vitamin K

Kale, spinach, mustard greens, spring onions, cress, basil, thyme, coriander, sage, parsley, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, chilli powder, paprika, fennel, leeks.

Minerals

Calcium

Watercress, kale, broccoli, low-fat mozzarella, low-fat cheddar, yogurt, pak choi, tofu, sugar snap peas, almonds, tinned sardines in oil with bones, tinned pink salmon.

Magnesium

Buckwheat, rye, millet, brown rice, whole wheat, kelp, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, tofu, coconut, soya beans, figs, apricots, dates, prawns, corn, avocado, spinach, kale, broccoli swiss chard, turnip greens, collards.

Zinc

Rye, spinach, beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, pork, chicken, chickpeas, baked beans, mushrooms.

Iron

Rye, whole wheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chicken liver, oysters, mussels, clams, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, beef, lamb, lentils, white beans, soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans, oatmeal, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, dark chocolate.

Manganese

Rye, oats, brown rice, barley, mussels, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pecans, lima beans, chickpeas, aduki beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pineapple, spinach, kale, tofu, soybeans, sweet potato, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries.

Copper

Rye, oats, sesame seeds, cashews, soybeans, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, tempeh, garbanzo beans, lentils, walnuts, lima beans, liver, spirulina, dark chocolate, collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, kale.

Phosphorus

Brown rice, oats, rye, whole wheat, chicken, turkey, pork, liver, sardines, scallops, salmon, mackerel, crab, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts,

pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews.

Potassium

Dried apricots, salmon, mackerel, tuna, monkfish, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, butternut squash, spinach, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes, low-fat yogurt.

Selenium

Brazil nuts, brown rice, rye, whole wheat, mushrooms, shrimp, sardines, oysters, tuna, sunflower seeds, liver, eggs, beef, turkey, cottage cheese.

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  — Albert Einstein

Something that is very important to remember is that every single one of us is completely unique, which means you could be more sensitive to some foods than others.


Keeping a food diary is a great way to help you understand what your eating habits and patterns are really like and can help you to identify the foods that your body may have an intolerance to.


What is food intolerance?


Food intolerance is a digestive response that occurs when something in a food irritates the digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest, or break down a specific type of food. For example, gluten, wheat, or dairy. An intolerance is NOT an allergy. As our bodies change, so do its responses to certain foods, which is why mindful eating and body awareness is so important when it comes to body health.


Our bodies give us messages to help us to understand what it needs. When these messages are ignored, they send them as physical signals such as mental stress or anxiety and they worsen the longer the message goes unanswered. Take some time to listen to what your body needs, include some foods that contain the vitamins and nutrients it demands, and be sure to move every day. Stretch, walk, and rest.


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