How important is nutrition for your mental health? Research suggests nutrition is rather a lot more important than you ever imagined. Yes, a healthy diet can have positive effects on your mental health which is why a diet full of nutrition is extremely important and recommended.
Diet can have several effects on one’s overall well-being and a research suggests dietary patterns may contribute to depression. Children consuming a more junk-oriented diet tend to be more hyper and aggressive. Stress and hormonal problems are all associated to a diet concentrated more on fast-foods and fizzy drinks and other problems as well. Where there are direct causes of several problems a person experiences because of a poor diet, mental health is another such factor that gets affected but indirectly and the effects are generally long-term.
There is no question in why a healthy diet is encouraged to promote physical health, but is its importance on mental health stressedenough? I feel the answer is no, because generally the change of mood you experience is linked to your physical appearance but not on the fact that healthy eating habits actually have a positive impact on your mental well-being. Yes, when you shift your diet from fast-foods to vegetables, fruits and whole wheat, your mood automatically gets better and you feel happier all of a sudden. Why is it so? And why is food an instant mood lifter?
There are several studies that links poor quality diets with common mental disorders like depressive disorders and others whereas healthier diets are linked to a better mood and protective. These studies further suggest that a better diet can reduce such depressive disorders and have and actually improve moods.
Fruits vs Fast-foods
Fruits are rich in calcium C and other many vitamins and minerals and generally tend to make one more refreshed and active whereas fast-food and junks are all packed with bad oils that make one feel heavy and dull. Bad fats are all linked to obesity and other serious health problems and is recommended to be avoided and is often called ‘empty’calories. Fruits and fruit juices are more associated with feelings of freshness and refreshed because that is the kind of affect it actually has on one’s body and mind.
Breakfast is often the one thing recommended to people starting a healthy journey. Whereas breakfast is essential for your physical health but does it have health benefits mentally? Yes, it does and breakfast is often associated with a healthy way to start your day. It works as a fuel not only to your body but your mind as well and helps you do activities that require both physical and mental abilities. Oats with berries and fruits along with some dry fruits is a meal packed with nutrients that aims at improving and supporting brain related activities. Whole foods, vegetables and eggs are all rich in nutrients that helps feed brain by feeding it with healthy nutrients.
Healthy fats vs bad fats/oils
The brain is eighty percent fat and hence requires good fats to keep it functioning and provide it with nutrients that it needs and prevent mental disorders. Avocado, fish oils, almond nuts and other are all rich in good fats that are required by your body and for your mental health as well. Bad fats on the other hand aredrainers and whereas might seem to give you more energy but in general tend to take more. They are hard to digest and make you feel bad afterwards. It is all associated with problems like acne and other mental disorders like stress and depression, all common in young generation. Apart from this healthy fat are associated with memory and learning as well.
This technique is by far the best and helps one remain fulfilled and healthy. Instead of having two-three meals a day filled with calories try replacing it with five meals a day in small portions. This have impacts not only physically but mentally as well. By dividing your meals in five you are helping your body improve your metabolism rate and instantly making your body more active and energetic which in turn have affects mentally and help keep your mind active and refreshed.
This dietary guideline recommends a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables to be consumed per day for prevention of chronic illnesses and inflammation and oxidative stress. This dietary guideline helps keep psychological distress at bay and help and improved health behaviors.
Your brain never sleeps even when your body is and hence requires fuel, and that fuel is generated from food that you eat. It would not be a surprise to state that what you eat affects your brain both in structure and functioning and so ultimately your mood and so food has affects not only physically but mentally as well. When you feed your brain with quality foods, that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, it helps nourish the brain and protects it from ‘waste’ (free radicals) that is a by-product when your body uses oxygen and can damage cells. and so, your brain is like a car that only accepts premium fuel and giving it otherwise would only harm it.
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