04 Oct How Diet Affects Your Mental Health
Do you know that the brain regulates almost all the body’s vital functions? Just like a car needs gas, water, and oil to function properly, the brain needs a steady supply of energy and oxygen to function properly. Keep reading to know how diet affects your mental health.
The type of fuel the brain requires is gotten from nutrients in the bloodstream, which come from digested food. Did you know that? Well, now you do.
So How Does Your Diet Affect Your Mental Health?
I had a friend who was very smart in school. He was every teacher’s favourite. He answered all the questions and came first in every term.
Toward the end of our graduation year, he came to stay with us in the hostel so that he could focus on the final exams. When the results came out, it shocked me to know that he had performed poorly. No one could explain why, not even him.
He would tell me later, after we left school, that he didn’t perform well then because he wasn’t eating a balanced diet while in the hostel as compared to when he came to school from home.
I was curious, but he went on to explain to me that he had become a dietician and could tell how diet affects a person’s mental health.
That day, I learnt that a healthy body is required for a healthy mind, and vice versa. A poor diet wreaks havoc on our digestive system, making it difficult to eliminate toxins that affect the mind and other bodily organs.
A poor diet is detrimental to the heart because it makes us obese, sluggish, and lazy, limiting our intake of oxygen, which is essential for brain and body function.
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Deficiency Disorders and Mood
The lack of nutrients like folate, zinc, and cobalamine is often associated with symptoms of dementia, irritability, and depression. Food insecurity and overeating are also associated with anxiety and mood disorders.
People tend to eat differently when they are depressed or anxious. Depression could increase if a patient is unable to quit consuming comfort foods and make good dietary choices. Depression may also be caused by bad eating habits.
Serotonin and The Stomach
A monoamine neurotransmitter called serotonin helps to manage mood, decrease pain, and regulate sleep and hunger.
The gut, which is full of neurons and has 100 million nerve cells in the intestinal plexus, produces around 95% of the body’s serotonin. As a result, the stomach plays a crucial role in controlling emotions, sensing pain, and other crucial physiological processes.
Have you ever fallen into depression after eating a particular food for a long time? The synthesis of monoamine neurotransmitters from amino acids is controlled by cofactors that depend on minerals.
The methylation that takes place during these synthetic processes requires both folate and vitamin B12.
This also controls the production of homocysteine, a molecule that is closely associated with cardiovascular risk and depression.
Dietary Fats and Brain Functioning
Fats such as omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory are used to treat psychological disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD, Bipolardepresssion and post-traumatic stress disorder
However, according to research, diets like the Japanese and Mediterranean diets, are associated with a 25–35% lower prevalence of melancholy than the typical American diet.
A Healthy Diet and Your Mental Health.
What you eat affects your physical and mental health. For good reason, our intestine is called the second brain.
Treatment for all childhood illnesses, such as autism and hyperactivity, involves planning a balanced diet. It’s because eating a balanced diet encourages the development of “good” bacteria.
This in turn has a favourable impact on the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Your brain clearly gets these wonderful signals when neurotransmitter synthesis is strong, and your emotions reflect that.
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What sort of Diet or Food is Necessary for Mental Health?
The most crucial action you can do is to consume complete, unadulterated meals. plenty of nutritious fruits, vegetables, protein, and fats.
This entails avoiding processed sugar as well as any issues you may have with gluten, dairy, or anything else that makes you feel weary.
Particularly crucial is DHA, a long-chain fatty acid. Fresh fish and seafood are the sources of this.
B12 is found in lean meat. For instance, cows feed on grass.
In conclusion, a lot of diets contain wholesome unprocessed whole foods. It is crucial and should be supported by dietary specialists to assist individuals with mental illness in making decisions about self-care and health improvement.