The heart and brain are in constant communication, providing a critical link between heart health and better mood. Pychonutritionist and prolific healthy author Shawn Talbott, PhD is an expert on this area of science. His newest book, “Mental Fitness: Maximizing Mood, Motivation, & Mental Wellness by Optimizing the Brain-Body-Biome,” describes this connection. 

In an article for Better Nutrition magazine, Talbott explained. “We’ve known since the 1950s that there is cross talk between the heart and brain using electrical signals. Now we’re finding evidence that when we improve the heart’s efficiency, we can also improve emotions and become more resilient to stress.”

The heart-brain connection means you’re doing more than just improving cardiovascular health when you eat a heart-healthy diet. “We know that people with heart disease are at a higher risk of developing depression, and that people who suffer from depression are at a higher risk for heart disease,” wrote Talbott.

He advises, “To promote a healthier heart and mood, focus on anti-inflammatory foods and supplements that help to manage oxidation. Limit your intake of sugar, processed foods, and alcohol, and instead eat more antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, avocados, and fatty fish. Also try swapping pro-inflammatory cooking oils such as corn and canola with heart-healthy options such as Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil.”

He also suggested a new antioxidant supplement known as Palm Fruit Bioactive Complex, or Palm Fruit Extract, which he said, “shows a great deal of promise in promoting a healthier heart and mood” in part by activating a wide range of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways in the body. 

Talbott concludes, “You’re probably not going to turn down an opportunity to feel cheerier. Now, when you read all those articles about heart health, you should be even more driven to follow their advice because those strategies may also help you experience a substantial improvement in anxiety and overall mood.”