Poor mental health? Improve nutrition and sleep.

People who struggle with mental health challenges—and those who treat them—often turn to medication to deal with those challenges. Time and time again, medication either doesn’t work or it numbs a person’s ability to feel and experience life.

Luckily, natural options exist for many people, especially improved nutrition and better sleep.

Improving nutrition

Over the last few years, researchers have become more open to the idea that diet and mental health are inextricably linked. Several studies have demonstrated that connection.

One common thread among these studies is the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables in one’s diet. This makes sense since fresh fruits and vegetables (especially in substantial quantities and varieties) are rich in the vitamins and minerals needed for proper brain function.

Here are 6 studies that specifically connect fresh fruits and vegetable (as well as a few other healthy foods) with positive mental health.

Improving sleep

Our bodies need rest. While researchers have proposed multiple theories over the years to the actual purpose of sleep, it’s clear that our bodies need it to be healthy. In fact, a 2014 Australian study discovered that those suffering from insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea reported higher rates of depression compared to those not reporting sleep disorders. Plus, lack of sleep can also increase our stress levels, also contributing to poor mental health.

Getting more sleep doesn’t have to be an obstacle, and there are ways to improve your sleep.