Can food really affect my mental health? Live Life Well
|Self help is a way in which people can improve their mental health (commonly becoming a way of managing mental health difficulties and improving their general day-to-day mental health).One self-help strategy is to make changes to what we eat, and there is increasing interest as to how food and nutrition can affect how we feel emotionally and our mental health.|
Eating well and good nutrition can help us to prevent physical ill-health. This may include: include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke and sleeping difficulties just to name a few.
Eating well also makes us feel emotionally well. It is well documented that deficiencies, in some essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients can lead to symptoms associated with stress, depression, behavioral problems and physical illnesses.
The following are the main nutrients that the body will use up.
Proteins: Vital in tissue growth and repair
A vitamins: Needed for vision
B vitamins: These help the body manage stress and help in regulating the nervous system
C vitamins: Protection of the immune system (antioxidants, diabetes protection etc.). Lowers the amount of cortisol in your body.
Magnesium: Needed for many things such as muscle relaxation, cell regrowth fatty acid formation and heart functioning.
So you can see that skipping meals or leaving long spaces within you day before eating, can be damaging on both your body and mind. You may also find that you may also eat more “junk-food” when you skip meals as you become more hungry and can reach for quick easy fast foods. to alleviate your hunger pangs.
Additionally, when you are experiencing difficult situations and feeling stressed, the body uses more essential nutrients than it normally would. After these resources have been used up, you should replenish the nutrients that it needs for cell regrowth and optimum brain function.
If maintaining a healthy diet is new to you, look below to see the “Eatwell Plate” where you can familiarise yourself with foods and how they can help you. Choosing healthy foods that you enjoy eating will help you keep to your new eating plans. When you feel that your mental health has improved still continue to eat healthily.
It is ok to treat yourself now and then, but a prolonged period of healthy, nutritional eating will prepare your
body for any future stressful events. Then if your mental health deteriorates again in the future, your body will be ready.
Read more, by clicking here on more guidance/information on which foods are linked to mental wellbeing.
You can also look through an extensive collection, by the Mental Health Foundation of which foods may be lacking from your diet, that may be contributing to a mental health problem by clicking here. Also, the Mental Health Foundation offer a free recipe for good mental health download called Feeding Minds.