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In this article, you will know the answer to the query “How Nutrition Can Impact your Mental Health“.
Nutrition isn’t just about weight loss, but it can also influence your mood and overall wellbeing.
Why you eat can have an impact on your mental health to some extent.
Eating well doesn’t guarantee your mental health or wellness, but it can be a great help.
The best part is, that you don’t even need to follow a paleo diet or any other specific diet in order for your nutrition to improve your mental health, it’s about eating what’s right for you and your body.
This article will discuss how mental health can have a lasting impact on your health, and how to maintain it
Food and Mood Science
Science explains how food affects mood through the gastrointestinal tract. We have billions of bacteria in this part of our body that affect neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for stabilizing our moods.
You encourage the “good” bacteria in your intestines to grow when you eat right. It has an impact on everything, but most importantly, on neurotransmitter production.
It can therefore help you gain better mental health, and stave off the effects of depression.
Alternatively, foods that are high in carbohydrates, fats, and sugars actually hinder the production of these good bacteria and cause inflammation.
The number of neurotransmitters produced can also affect how messages are communicated to your brain.
By eating right, you’re basically giving your brain a bunch of good messages that will increase levels of serotonin and dopamine and, thus, increase levels of happiness.
We can use this to fight off symptoms of depression because low levels of serotonin and dopamine are linked with depression.
The bad food you eat will affect the production of certain neurotransmitters, which can affect communication to the brain, and thus, your mood.
Sugar: The Biggest Culprit
All of this is probably due to sugar.
Excess sugar is not only bad for your health since it increases inflammation, causes insulin resistance, and can ultimately lead to other health issues, but can also negatively impact your mood.
When we consume sugar, our GI tract will be inflamed at an increasing rate, and bacteria will feed off of that sugar.
Those “feel good” neurotransmitters lead to that dopamine rush, which reduces serotonin levels.
You end up feeling a huge crash after consuming sugary food to cope with depression, which can lead to mood swings caused by the food consumed.
This is part of the reason why people eat when emotional since sugary foods will cause a mood crash, so as to compensate, we eat more of the same sugary food.
By eating fewer sugary foods, you can reduce these massive spikes and dips, which in turn will stabilize your mood.
Foods Can Control Your Mood
The foods you eat can affect your mood. If you eat healthy foods, you’ll notice that your moods will become more stable, and you’ll have a happier outlook on life.
As a result of the effects of neurotransmitters, but also because the food nourishes the body with what it requires.
Moreover, it has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as the risk of dementia, strokes, and other chronic illnesses.
Therefore, your diet can have an impact on your mood, as well as your physical health and wellness.
The Best Foods and Diet for Mental Health
When trying to focus on your diet to improve your mental health, you need to listen to your body and know what you need.
Recognize any deficiencies you may have in your diet, as well as follow a well-rounded diet that includes all the nutrients you need.
Taking fish oil supplements along with a Mediterranean diet is excellent for your mental health.
Many people can benefit from this method of reducing depression.
Reduce the amounts of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, as well as processed and junk foods.
What are some other foods you should consume?
Let’s take a look at these:
- No preservatives or additives, just whole foods
- such as fibrous fruits and vegetables
- instead of processed grains
- Beans and legumes
- Leafy greens
- Foods high in folates, such as lentils and cantaloupes
- Vitamin D-rich foods, such as mushrooms
- nut products, such as almonds and cashews
- Tempeh, kimchi, and sauerkraut are examples of fermented foods
- containing lean meats instead of fatty meats
- Dark chocolate
You can improve your mental health by eating these foods. Consider incorporating these into your diet slowly and try to eat a diet that offers optimal nutrition, so that it can help not only with obesity and other mortality issues but also with your mental wellbeing.
More than Just What You Eat
Despite the fact that your diet can play a role in your overall mood, it is important to look beyond what you eat for mental health problems.
You should seek mental health treatment if you have any concerns. It is imperative that you pay as much attention to your mental health as you do to your physical health.
Seeking help from a therapist when you’re feeling down is just as important as visiting a doctor if you have a fever.
The benefits of BetterHelp counseling are diverse. It may be difficult to stop emotional eating if you have a tendency to do so, and a counselor can help.
Discipline and control over what you eat are very important, but getting help for underlying problems with your diet is also very important. It has a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
If you want to read more about health and nutrition, read here: HEALTH AND NUTRITION.