Nutrition and mental health; Healthy eating helps with mental health
While people around the world struggled with higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety last year, many turned to their favorite foods: ice cream, sweets, pizza and hamburgers. But studies in recent years have shown that high-fat, high-sugar foods, which we often crave for stress or depression, have the least benefit to our mental health. Instead, whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and fermented foods such as yogurt may be better.
These findings are the result of an emerging field known as nutritional psychiatry that examines the relationship between diet and mental health. The idea that eating certain foods can improve brain health. But in recent years, important research has been done on the relationship between nutrition and mental health. A healthy diet is linked to gut health, and gut health has an interesting effect on the brain. Intestinal microbes produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate our mood and emotions.
The relationship between nutrition and mental health
Recommended foods were relatively inexpensive and available at most grocery stores. Recommended ingredients include canned beans and lentils, canned salmon, tuna and sardines, and frozen and conventional products.
Overall, the relationship between nutrition and mental health is a complex one. It is true that eating certain foods does not necessarily reduce depression or improve mental health, but it can not be ineffective.
The best diets
There is no one-size-fits-all diet that is considered the best option for mentalhealth, but some eating patterns seem to be better than others.
Among the common diets, the Mediterranean diet has the strongest evidence to support its ability to reduce depressive symptoms. Also, this diet is typically recommended by experts for overall health and human well-being.
Among the components in this diet that have been linked to a reduction in the rate of depression are the following:
– Omega-3 fatty acids
– Vitamin D
– Methyl sulfate
Among the foods used in the Mediterranean diet are the following:
– Fruits and vegetables
– Whole grains
– breakfast cereal
– olive oil
Low to medium amount of dairy products, fish and poultry
– Very small amount of red meat
– Eggs up to four times a week
Low calorie diet
Short-term calorie restriction has shown promising signs of helping to improve depressive symptoms.