Do you find yourself feeling down, stressed and moody after a big meal? It may not be “all in your head.” Research shows there’s a link between food and mood. That’s because your gut plays an active role in producing chemical messengers that influence your emotions. And there are things you can do to optimize your gut variety for improved mood and well-being.
Food is fuel for every single emotion you feel. So it’s no coincidence that mood and diet are so intimately linked. Taking the time to eat right on a daily basis not only helps you avoid feeling sluggish and depressed — it also keeps your mind in a cleared, happy state, which makes it easier to reach your goals and be the best version of yourself possible.
It’s easy to include the foods that are good for your mood into your diet. As well as being satisfying in themselves, these good-mood foods can make a healthy breakfast or lunch more enjoyable, and some of them make great snacks. The key is to vary them so that you don’t get bored and learn how to prepare your favourites in different ways.
Improving your diet may help to:
- Improve your mood
- Give you more energy
- Help you think more clearly.
Most of us are aware that we need to pay attention to the food we eat for a healthier body. But what most people aren’t aware of is that diet can also affect our mood and mental well-being. So, it stands to reason that what we eat directly affects the structure and function of our brain and, ultimately, our mood. Foods that are high in certain vitamins and minerals have been found to boost serotonin levels, the key neurotransmitter that helps mediate moods. Research has also shown that our hormones can be influenced by diet so maintaining a diet rich in natural fat sources like fish oils, avocados and flax seeds are believed to provide a calming effect. Hope you find this article useful!
The basic factors to understand in diet and mental illness
Sharing Brings Happiness – Sharing brings happiness, and food is one of the greatest pleasures that bring people together. Throughout the world, it’s common to eat family style and share meals with loved ones. Food has been a part of our daily life for generations, helping us celebrate every occasion from anniversaries to get-togethers with friends. By sharing meals, we not only enjoy tasty foods but also strengthen our bonds with family and friends.
Disciplined Routine – Having a healthy diet is important because it positively influences your general health and well-being. Eating a varied, balanced diet, including fruit and vegetables, decreases the risk of major illnesses such as heart disease or cancer. An unhealthy relationship with food means that you have an unhealthy diet which has a negative impact on both your physical health and your mental health.
Nutrition for Good Health – By improving your diet, you can reduce symptoms of illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder, and make strides towards living a more fulfilling life. Simply incorporating some of the following foods into your weekly meals will help keep you healthy and happy.
Must Include – Pre and probiotics, curd, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains all have an important role in the diet of a person with mental illness.
It is not just the food which you eat but it’s also what you should not eat that makes a difference to your health.
Must Avoid – Deep-fried, processed food and food and beverages with high sugar content should be avoided to have a healthier diet because both kinds include adverse effects on mental wellbeing and health.
Foods to Improve Your Mental Health and Wellness
We all generally know the benefits of fresh, healthy food on the body – but how about the mind? Here’s a list of some of brain-healthy foods:
Oily fish is great for your brain, and is found in salmon, trout, prawns, mackerel and sardines. A diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids can help to boost feelings of mental health and wellness and reduce levels of anxiety.
Blueberries and other berries contain a higher level of antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help to repair damaged cells and combat free radical damage. Berries are tasty, yes, but they also contain a bunch of important nutrients that benefit the mind and body. Of all the berries available, strawberries and blueberries come out on top when it comes to adding some color to your plate and keeping you feeling fabulous.
Stress, anxiety and depression are all linked to the brain-gut connection – your mood is directly affected by what happens in your guts. Take care of yourself with foods like yoghurt which contain probiotics, and make you think more clearly and increase your happiness.
Wholegrain contain tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the body. Serotonin is the ‘feel good hormone’ that helps us feels relaxed and happy. So there you have it – the perfect sidekick for a healthy lifestyle. Wholegrain are natural mood boosters – and can actually improve your well-being.
Walnuts are not only a great source of omega 3 fats, keeping your heart happy, but also an excellent source of anti-oxidants. All of this means they can help us to keep our brain healthy while we age. Walnuts are packed with the essential omega-3 fatty acids that help to improve both physical and mental health.
Blending a wide array of leafy greens into your diet can provide a number of benefits, including improved mental health. Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are also packed with antioxidants and nutrients that work to protect the brain against damage, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improve memory.
Beans do more than fill you up – they help improve your health, too. Loaded with fiber and antioxidants, legumes (like beans, chickpeas and lentils) keep your blood sugar stable, keep you fuller for longer, burn more energy and enable you to think faster. Plus, they contain the vitamin thiamine, which is essential for the production of acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter that’s needed for memory.
The final word on diet and mental health
While it may not be easy to visibly see the effects of healthy diets on mental illness, we know that a poor diet is linked to bad mental and physical health, as well as a weaker immune system. Eating foods that are not balanced can lead to long-term health problems like diabetes. If you need help, speak with a dietician or even your doctor. They can advise you on diet and mental illness, what foods you should include and what you should avoid.
Every single day, in every corner of the world, millions of people make the decision to eat a piece of bread with their morning coffee. While many don’t even think twice about it, they never know that their seemingly normal action can have a deep impact on their mental health and mood. After all, nutrition plays a significant role in mental health and one’s wellbeing. A good diet has been shown to improve people’s mood as well as help with treat underlying symptoms or prevent depression and other mental illnesses. Paying more attention to your diet can be the first step to improving your mental health and overall wellbeing.