This Article is About
mental health
blood sugar level
nutritional deficiencies
mental and emotional health
b vitamins
dietary habits
emotional state
neurotransmitters
eating habits
solace
Food - The Impact On Your Mental Health
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Food    -    The Impact on Your Mental Health

Does food affect your mental health?

We have all heard the phrases "comfort foods", "food for solace" and " eating to fill a void". Your mental or emotional state can directly affect your eating habits. Everyone has said or heard someone say " I am so depressed I could eat a whole carton of ice cream" or " I had such a rough day at work I need a drink". This is what is termed as mood to food.

However ongoing research shows that there is a direct link between the food we eat and our physical, emotial and metal health. This link is often referred to as "food to mood". While some doctors and scientists still debate over the validity of food to mood there is evidence to support the finding that our diet can and does directly affect our physical, emotional and mental health.

Positive results have been achieved in cases where participants altered thier dietary habits. Upon adding or removing certain foods from an individuals diet a resulting positive change in thier mood and behavior occurred. Confirming the importance of proper nutrion on affects of ones mental and emotional health.

How is your mood affected by foods?

The following examples give some explanation of the relationship between our foods that we eat and our moods. A change in our blood sugar level can account for a change in the amount of energy we have and our mood. These changes can be directly affected by the food you eat and when you eat. The brain consists of neurotransmitters known as acetylcholine, seritonin and dopamine these have a direct influence on how we feel, behave and think. These neurtotransmitters are affected by the foods we choose to eat.

If you experience low minerals levels, vitamins and the necessary fatty acid levels mental health can be affected, some symptoms are associated with specific nutritional deficiencies. An example of lower levels of some B-vitamins have been shown to be a link in those suffering from symptoms of schizophrenic beharior. Some who suffer from eating disorders have been shown to be linked to a lower level of the zinc mineral. Those suffering from cases of depression have been shown to have lower omega-3 levels.

What do I need to look for in my diet?

The first thing to look for is there a specific food or kind of food that you eat a regular basis or in a larger quantity than others? A healthy diet consists of achieving a proper balance between the wide variety of nutritional foods that are available. Sometimes people believing a food to be healthier will consume it in larger quantities and more frequently. Unfortunately, this can be the foods that are having an adverse, or disabling, affect upon a persons health.

Often it is a combination of eating too much of certain food and to little of others that is contributing to the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Making changes to your diet requires ensuring you are not missing the essential nutrients your body requires on a daily basis. If you cut out or reduce one food, you will need to substitute with a similar food choice. For example, replacing a wheat bread with a rye bread.

What foods can affect your moods?

Even though it is not fully understood why some foods seem to affect our moods and behaviors, in many cases people have found they can directly link specific foods that they eat or do not eat with how they feel physically, mentally and emotionally.

The following is a list of some of the foods that you consume and that are known to often cause health problems. The list contains chocolate, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, wheat found in some breads, some dairy products like cheese, there are some artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils that can cause a list of complaints from food allergies to depression and anxiety. Some other common foods for example yeast, corn, eggs, oranges, soy beans and tomatoes, may also trigger symptoms in some people.

It is possible to see improvement in a wide variety of mental health issues as a result of making changes to what we eat. Reports of improvements in mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, depression (including postpartum depression), aggressive and irritablity, memory problems, premenstrual syndrome, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, psychotic episodes, sleeplessness, fatigue, behavioural and learning disorders.

What foods should you eat to feel mentally and physically healthy? A healthy mind and body require water. The majority of people miss the recommended six to eight glasses daily. Water is a low-cost and easy way to quickly change how we feel, physically and mentally. Fresh fruits and vegetables five times a day will provide the needed nutrients to help nourish mind and body.

Never skip the morning meal and always try to maintain regular meal times. Choose foods that will release energy slowly to maintain an even energy level. Foods consisting of oats and wholegrains work well for this. You also require foods containing protein daily. Foods that contain higher levels of protein are eggs, fish, nusts, seeds, beans, meat and the different cheeses.

These healthy eating guidelines will not only provide you with the needed nutrients, they will also help to reduce the symptoms of unstable blood sugar levels. Which could include fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and depression. The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in sardines, mackerals and linseed are vital in thier contribution of forming a healthy brain.

Seeds and nuts, such as pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and walnuts, are also high in proteins and nutrients.

Is a nutrional supplement a good idea? A balanced and varied diet of nutritious foods is always most recommended however should you feel your diet is lacking all the neccessary vitamins and minerals you should consult your physician concerning recommendations for a vitamin supplement. Taking fish oil supplements containing omega-3 oils are benefiical for health as well. Allways consult your physician or pharmacist before beginning any diet or vitamin regimen so that they may council you on any possible side effects or medication interactions.

It is my hope that this article has been helpful and insightful. And as always I am thankful for the time you have spent reading my article.


Street Talk

TroyF  

Excellent article Jewel. I have always maintained that what we eat has a direct correlation to our moods.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you for your positive comment Shawn. I know what you mean about the chocolate but it does explain certain moods...like being hyper and happy and then being moody and almost depressed. The other bummer for me is the caffeine, love my coffee and herbal teas...i've had to switch to decaf.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Bummer, Chocolate is on the problem list. :( Good article Jewel!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you for liking the article Geoffrey. It's my hope that you found it informative.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

wekcome

Reply
  about 7 years ago

i like your article

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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