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The Importance of Diet for Your Mental Health

Shopify API May 13, 2022 No Comments
Explore the best and worst foods in a diet for your mental health, including supplements that support a healthy brain.
 Diet for your mental health

May 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.

 Diet for your mental health

Food, emotions, diet, and mental health. These aspects of your life may seem separate, but a healthy diet's essential for a healthy mind. The food you eat fuels everything you do, including thinking, laughing, crying, and breathing.
 
The brain accounts for about 20% of the body’s energy usage every day. Laughing boosts your metabolism by increasing your heart rate by 10 to 20 percent. Crying burns about 1.3 calories per minute. Anxiety slows your digestion and could cause stomach aches, diarrhea, and gas. The mind and the gut are inexorably linked.

A healthy gut could mean the difference between happiness and anxiety. The time you eat, the quality and quantity of your food all play a role in dieting for your mental health.

Keep reading to learn how to diet for your mental health, including which foods to avoid or add to your diet for a better mood.

Your Brain on Junk Food

You know junk food when you see it. Fast food, candy, sugary snacks, chips, foods fried on a stick… Not only are these foods full of harmful saturated fats, processed white sugar, refined carbohydrates, and high levels of sodium, but they contain little to no nutritional value. This means that you're consuming far too many calories without getting the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function.
 
Junk food is unhealthy for many reasons, but one of its most detrimental effects happens in the brain. Studies show that adolescents who eat junk food have a more challenging time thinking, remembering, and learning. As a result, they are more likely to act impulsively and develop depression, anxiety, or both. But the harmful effects of junk food are not confined to your growing years.
 
Adults who consume large amounts of saturated fats are more likely to be overweight or obese. Obesity leads to chronic inflammation, bringing about mental health issues like depression, anxiety, fatigue, and social withdrawal.
 
An excess of sugar has been linked to increased incidents of depression. Too much sugar causes imbalances in brain chemicals like dopamine which regulate your pleasure response. Refined carbohydrates are in white bread and pasta, crackers, cookies, and soda. These highly processed macronutrients cause spikes in blood sugar, triggering a hormonal response to reduce blood sugar levels. As a result, the consumer might feel fatigued, depressed, and have dramatic mood swings.
 
You're better off avoiding junk food for your mental health. But if you do indulge, make sure you only eat small portions and do not eat them every day.

Your Brain on Greens


Your brain on greens

Healthy foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are potent tools for healing your brain. In addition, some superfoods are known to reverse the harmful effects that junk food has on the body and can even improve your mental health.
 
Vegetables are essential for brain health. They contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation across the body and reverse the effects of aging in the brain. For example, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli contain carotenoid antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds can cross the blood-brain barrier to prevent age-related cognitive decline. In addition, each family of vegetables has its own brain health superpowers, from leafy greens that reduce oxidative stress to soy-based foods that prevent strokes.

The colors in fresh fruit indicate nutritional density. Blue and purple fruits like blueberries and acai are known as brain superfoods. These fruits contain anthocyanin flavonoids that slow cognitive decline and improve your memory.

While junk food increases inflammation, vegetables and fruits reverse it. Reversing inflammation
is especially important for people with chronic mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Supplements for Mental Health

Sometimes getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet is too exhausting or time-consuming to do daily. Even if you eat the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you still may not be getting enough nutrients. The nutritional density of food has changed over the years due to global warming and the rising carbon dioxide levels.
 
Thankfully, nutritional supplements are available in most grocery stores and can be an excellent way to support your mental health.
 
A few of the best nootropic supplements to support your mental health are:
● Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. This supplement helps the function and structure of your brain. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to protect the brain against aging and damage.
● Resveratrol: This antioxidant is found in red or purple fruits and wine, chocolate, and coffee. Resveratrol supports the memory center of the brain and slows age-related cognitive decline.
● Creatine: This supplement naturally occurs in the body and can be found in most animal-based products. Evidence shows that creatine supplements can improve brain functions like thinking and memory in people who do not eat meat.
● Caffeine: This natural stimulant jump-starts the central nervous system and brain to make you more alert. Coffee can also improve reaction times and improve memory.
● Ginkgo Biloba: This herbal supplement is thought to increase blood flow to the brain to improve cognition, learning, and memory.
These powerful supplements are a great tool to support a healthy brain. Speak to your health care provider before adding any supplements to your mental health treatment.

Food and Mental Health

The importance of diet for your mental health is an area that has fascinated nutritionists and psychologists alike. Poor mental health can lead to unhealthy eating habits, and an excess of junk food can worsen mental health.
 
Changes to your diet also need time to take effect. You cannot eat a salad one day of the week and expect your depression to disappear magically. Instead, the effects build over time, and you may find that other aspects of your health improve simultaneously.

Dealing with chronic pain can also take a toll on your mental health, so remember to use Kailo pain patch to get some relief. A recent clinical study showed Kailo is more effective than other prescription and over the counter medications, with no side effects!
 
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.

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