Leading nutritionist unveils the 5 best healthy eating habits and diet changes to improve mental health

Los Angeles, Ca. 2024—A leading nutritionist at Lifesum, the global healthy eating platform, has unveiled the 5 best healthy eating habits and diet changes to improve mental health.

Encouraging a workplace culture that prioritizes nutrition has various benefits for employees' mental well-being, including improved mood and energy levels, reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced cognitive function, increased engagement and productivity, and prevention of absenteeism.

The impact of diet on mental health has major economic implications. Poor mental health cost the US economy $193.2 billion (source) and the global economy $1 trillion (source), considering factors such as lost productivity, absenteeism and turnover.

And mental health is a significant challenge for both Gen Z and Millennials. In a recent Lifesum survey of 5,000 Gen Z and Millennials, 81% said they would quit their jobs tomorrow due to stress, and 48% said that work-related stress affected their personal lives (source). 

“Many people don’t realise the link between food and mental wellbeing,” said Signe Svanfeldt, lead nutritionist at Lifesum. “A nutritious, balanced diet positively impacts our energy and mood, as well as our gut microbiota, which influences our mental wellbeing.”

Employers can improve the mental health of their team with these 5 healthy eating habits, including:

  1. Provide Healthy Snack Options: Stock the workplace with nutritious snacks like fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt, or whole-grain crackers instead of high-sugar vending machine options. This supports healthier choices and boosts mental well-being.


  1. Offer Nutritional Education: Organize workshops on nutrition and healthy eating habits. Provide practical tips and resources, including nutrition apps such as Lifesum, to help employees incorporate healthy eating into their daily routines.


  1. Encourage Regular Meal Breaks: Advocate for regular breaks for meals and snacks. Designate break areas where employees can enjoy meals away from workstations, promoting mindful eating and reducing stress.


  1. Promote Hydration: Ensure easy access to water with water coolers or hydration stations. Staying hydrated throughout the day supports cognitive function and mood, benefiting mental health.


  1. Support Wellness Challenges: Organize challenges focused on healthy eating habits, such as recipe competitions or fruit and vegetable challenges. Encouraging increased intake of fresh produce fosters a culture of wellness in the workplace.

Lifesum has also unveiled the 5 best diet changes to improve mental health:

  1. Increase Prebiotic Intake 

Including pre and probiotics have been found to have a positive impact on mental health. Both by reducing inflammation in the body and making more available neurotransmitters like serotonin, a "happy hormone" that regulates mood and reduces symptoms of stress and anxiety (source). These include:

  • Vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, and carrots
  • Whole grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Legumes, including beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  1. Eat More Probiotic-Rich Foods 

Our guts love probiotics, as they help to regulate the composition and activity of gut microbiome, which can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and enhance stress resilience (source). Good examples include: 

  • Sauerkraut and other types of fermented cabbage
  • Some dairy products, including kefir and yogurt
  • Kombucha (preferably a lower-sugar variety)
  1. Increase Omega-3 Fats 

Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation in the brain linked to mood disorders like depression and anxiety, thereby improving mental wellbeing (source). Foods high in omega-3 fats include:

  • Seeds, including flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Fatty fish like salmon, trout, and tuna
  1. Consume More Polyphenols 

Polyphenols promote healthy blood flow to the brain and can protect it from oxidative stress and inflammation, which may affect mental health, by reducing depressive symptoms and increasing overall mental well-being (source). Good sources include:

  • Fruit like apples, grapes, and kiwi
  • Nuts, including walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans
  • Vegetables, including peppers, red cabbage, and spinach 
  1. Increase Your Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates (those high in fibre) may support gut health, digestion and provide our bodies with essential nutrients which can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety (source). Good examples include: 

  • Whole grains, including oats, barley, and buckwheat
  • Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beet root, carrots, and parsnip 
  • Legumes, including beans and lentils

“What you eat today will either empower or deplete your mental health tomorrow. By nourishing ourselves with wholesome foods, we lay the foundation for greater engagement, productivity, and overall wellbeing in and out of the workplace,” Svanfeldt added.

Media Enquiries

Signe Svanfeldt, lead nutritionist at Lifesum, is available for an interview.

Media contact: Harry Cymbler, Hot Cherry PR, harry@hotcherry.co.uk

About Lifesum

Lifesum is the leading global healthy eating platform that empowers people to make smarter food choices and build sustainable eating habits, whether you want to reach a healthy weight or improve your long-term health. With a holistic approach to wellness, Lifesum helps you to understand how nutrition impacts core pillars of health, including sleep, exercise, and mental well-being. Lifesum features personalized nutrition insights and guidance, recipes, meal plans, diets, and food and exercise trackers. Learn more at Lifesum.com 


About Lifesum for Work

Lifesum for Work is the leading corporate wellbeing service trusted by the world’s leading organisations, including Amazon, Google, GE, and PayPal. Lifesum for Work delivers a range of wellness outcomes, including increased employee engagement, lower absenteeism and churn, and higher productivity. The service empowers employees to make smarter food choices with personalised recipes, diets and meal plans, food and exercise trackers, plus inspiration and motivation at every step of the way. Learn more at Lifesum.com/work