Eating for mental health

diet, energy, fat loss, Mental health, nutrition, protein, vegan -

Eating for mental health

Diet plays a big part in your overall health and fitness and can affect you reaching your goals. As well as physical health, your diet can also affect your mental health and a bad diet can be the cause of many different mental disorders. A healthy diet can make you feel better and can improve concentration and attention span. There are also many different types of foods that are beneficial for your mental health and we are going to be sharing some of them in this article.

There are many studies showing the mental benefits of a healthy diet. Eating well can help with symptoms of depression and can prevent you from suffering from dementia in later life. The relation from diet and emotions is due to the relationship between your brain and gastrointestinal tract. A healthy diet increases the healthy bacteria in your stomach, which positively effects neurotransmitter production. A bad diet will cause inflammation, negatively affecting your neurotransmitter production. Also, the bad ingredient in junk food can cause other health issues also affecting your mental health.

 

Lean protein

Eating protein has many health benefits. Protein is made up of amino acids and are the building blocks for your muscles. Although protein does allow your muscles to grow back bigger and stronger it does offer many other benefits with some of these improving mental health. One benefit of protein on your mental health is that it improves the function of neurotransmitters.  These allow your brain cells to communicate with each other and can prevent many different mental disorders like depression, addiction, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s. The amino acid L – Tryptophan is responsible for producing dopamine in the body.  This is found in many sources or protein and dopamine is responsible for your mood and can improve energy.

Eating more protein will also keep you away from sugary foods.  If you are eating most of your calories through sugar sources, then you can be at risk of mental health disorders. This is due to sugar causing crashes that leave you feeling tired and slumped. A high sugar intake also causes your neurotransmitters to be less effective at transporting signals to your brain. This means you could be at risk of not producing enough dopamine and will struggle to find enjoyment in life, as dopamine is responsible for making you feel good.  A study also found sugar to be as addictive as cocaine, so is probably best to keep away.

 

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are things that can cause harm to your body if their levels are too high. Free radicals can lead to illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  This is one way that antioxidants can improve mental health as you are decreasing the chances of these diseases. Having these conditions is likely to increase stress levels or can cause depression, causing your mental health to plummet.  Antioxidants are found in fruit and vegetables. There are many vitamins that are effective antioxidants like vitamins A, E and C.

Many antioxidants have also been found to decrease depression and cortisol levels in the body. A study was done that liked consuming enough vitamins A, C and E decreased the chances of you having a stress related disorder.  Antioxidants are also used to treat psychosis in its early stages of treatment.

 

Fibre

Fibre is essential for good overall health and can reduce the risk of you having a heart attack and stroke. This nutrient is also helpful when trying to lose weight and this is one way that fibre can improve mental health as it can prevent obesity, which is where many mental health issues and confidence issues start.  Fibre also increases the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA. Low levels of serotonin is found in people with depression so having enough of this is crucial for you maintaining a health mind.

 

Carbohydrates

Your intake of carbohydrates is liked to your mood. This is because the mood boosting chemical serotonin is released when you eat carbs. Good and healthy sources of carbohydrates include sweet potato, oats, wholemeal bread, and pasta. This will also make you feel less hungry which can make you irritable and angry. Eating carbohydrates also causes a steady stream of energy to be released to your cells which improves performance and motivation when doing a task.

Although carbs can be beneficial for your mental health, you ant to stay away from the unhealth and sugary sources of carbohydrates. Eating too much sugar causes an imbalance of chemicals in your brain. This imbalance causes mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Sugar also weakens your ability to deal with stress. Also, you want to be eating good carbohydrates and controlling how much you consume. Too many carbs can cause you to gain fat which can cause many more mental health issues and insecurities.

 

Stay hydrated

As your body is mostly mad form water, it comes to no surprise that drinking plenty of it will bring good health. When you are dehydrated your brain doesn’t work as efficiently and this can cause a decrease in cognitive function and concentration. This makes you less effective at tasks and can make you stressed in day to day life. A study has been done that concluded an increased water intake is beneficial to mental health and can improve sleep. Not consuming enough water will also bring a range of other health issues ,this can be something that leads to developing a mental health issue.

 

In conclusion the link between food and mental health is direct as your gut has a great influence on the chemical balance in your brain and how your brain reacts to certain things. Although eating healthy foods is beneficial for your mental health, sometimes junk food is great for reducing stress. Comfort foods are things that make you feel calm when eating them but are usually unhealthy, as this is the case you need to regulate your intake of these foods and try not to eat too much.  So, eating a health balanced diet is an effective way to improve mental health and is something that you should definitely consider if you believe your mental health is weak or you believe you are susceptible to any mental health illnesses.