6 days to World Mental Health Day
6 steps to a better Mental Health
We often hear to be said “you have to be careful with your food”, as it believed that diet directly affects our physical health, but also maintains our physical shape. Of course, healthy eating improves physical health, but we forget the fact that body and mind are inextricably linked. What we eat and how we eat is the mirror of our mental health, as we often break out in food, either by consuming rich in fat food, processed carbohydrates and/ or sugary food, or by significantly reducing food consumption. This can be due to either a difficult and tiring day, or to periods of increased stress, bad mood or dealing with a mental difficulty.
But how does this relationship between diet and emotions come about? The answer lies in the close relationship of the brain with our gastrointestinal system. Nutritious food can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters that enhance good mood. On the other hand, a poor in nutrients diet with too many preservatives , can cause inflammation that inhibits the production of hormones that lead to a good mood. For example, sugar can cause a sharp rise in blood glucose production, which can lead to the production of dopamine, the hormone of “I feel good”, but also a sharp drop in blood glucose. These sudden changes in blood glucose levels can cause inflammation,hormonal imbalance, irritability, and fatigue.
Effects of healthy eating
Research has shown that following a healthy diet, for example in the context of the Mediterranean diet, can:
- Reduce depression, stress, and anxiety.
- Build a strong immune system with reduced inflammatory markers and reduced risk of getting sick
- To improve cognitive functions
- To enhance the good mood & increase our energy
Categories of foods / habits that enhance mental well-being
- Raw foods: such as fruits and vegetables, as dyes and preservatives can cause or worsen depression, antioxidants
- Fiber: whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, good fats, nuts, omega-3 fats.
- Protein, low fat dairy, magnesium (dark chocolate, banana)
Frequent meals, as an empty stomach can cause irritability and bad mood.
- Good hydration
Healthy eating is one of the ways you can improve your mental health, because to be healthy is important to take care of your body and your soul.