Food and Mood – Good Nutrition for Mental Health

May 31, 2021

Food and Mood – Good Nutrition for Mental Health

Mental Health

Eating a balanced nutritious diet is important for maintaining both physical and mental health. Staying healthy does not always mean good physical health. It also means staying healthy mentally. Pervious studies have proved that good food or healthy diet improves serotonin level in our body which in turn breeds a healthy mind.

Now let’s understand what is serotonin? Serotonin is a feel good hormone that is produced in the gastrointestinal tract of our body. Eating healthy food improvises the production of this neurotransmitter which in turn, regulates our mood.

The best foods to eat that promotes good mental health wellness

One healthy cuisine that all of us can turn to is Mediterranean. This cuisine is less oily and includes vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grain. It lowers the risk of depression by 25 to 35 percent, a statistic that has been proved in various studies.

Serotonin is not the only factor responsible for good mental health, there are studies which have shown good gut bacteria in our intestine also affects our mental health. And good gut bacteria can be promoted by consuming the following things.

  • Dark, leafy greens: Green leafy vegetables are filled with nutrients. It contains vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin B-12, and folate. Consuming more of these leafy vegetables improves gut health by improving probiotics bacteria which in turn results in good mental health.
  • Healthy fats: This includes avocado, oily fish, and extra virgin olive oil. Anti-inflammatory properties in these healthy fats lowers the risk of anxiety and depression.
  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are low in sugar and high in Vitamin C and fiber, which improves cortisone level and reduces the chances of mental health disorder.
  • Nuts and legumes: These are considered as staple foods. It contains healthy fats, fibers, protein, and magnesium this contribute towards good mental health.
  • Fermented foods: Fermented foods help improve probiotics gut health. Thus, fermented food like yogurt can help towards good mental health.

Foods that negatively affect our mental health

  • Refined sugar: Several studies have proved that refined sugar increases blood sugar levels which in turn negatively impacting mental health.
  • Foods high in trans fats: Foods high in trans fats like pizza or chip, increase blood cholesterol levels and decreases serotonin level. In other words, it causes inflammation in the body negatively affecting mental health.
  • Caffeine: Having too much of caffeine can trigger sleep disorder and anxiety. It increases symptoms of hypertension.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol increases symptoms of anxiety, depression and leads to sleep disorders.
  • Highly processed foods:  Processed or frozen foods are quick and an easy option to cook. But they are known to cause inflammation and increase blood sugar level and decreases serotonin. Hence, it negatively impacts mental health.

A better diet provides a better mental health

We know it is quite difficult to maintain a well-balanced healthy diet especially in today’s lifestyle. But we can limit using negative foods to a greater extent and find healthier substitutes. After all a good diet can help us maintain a good life and healthy mind.

If you or your loved ones are experiencing depression on anxiety related issues, get in touch with Invictus Health Group. You can call our 24/7 helpline at 866-548-0190 to get more information about a psychiatric center near you. You can also chat with our admissions consultants to learn more about the evidence-based treatment plans offered by our network of mental health centers.

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