Nutritional Psychiatry: Does Your Choice of Food Help Your Mental Health?
Mental Health Nutrition (Nutritional psychiatry) is an emerging nutritional science that explores the changes that nutritious diets can make to one’s mental health.
Increasing amounts of research show that healthy eating is associated with psychological and social well-being.
The studies support the conclusion that the diets of people with mental health disorders lack critical nutrients for brain health. Replenishing these nutrients can play an important role in treating those disorders.
Inflammation in the brain is thought to be a significant cause of mental health illnesses, and this inflammation can come about from a long period of poor eating.
Healthy eating can protect against this inflammation in the brain and improve your ability to remember things, pay attention, and attain new information.
Tips to Healthy Eating
Hydrate, but do not drink your calories.
Your brain is 80% water, and being even slightly dehydrated can negatively impact your mood. Skip the high-calorie sodas, coffees and fruit juices. Make sure you get your daily intake of water (8 cups)
Use herbs and spices as medicine
Research the benefits of spices and incorporate them into your daily meals. For example, a saffron extract was as effective as antidepressant medication in treating people with major depression.
Make your food as clean as possible
Eliminate artificial sweeteners, colours, preservatives, and foods in plastic containers. (Read the labels)
Eliminate any potential allergens or internal attackers
If you struggle with any brain health/mental health or physical issue, try eliminating ingredients such as sugar, MSG, gluten, corn, soy, and dairy for a month to see if your symptoms improve.
Eat high-quality protein and high-quality fat at every meal
Eating protein balances blood sugar for more stable moods and keeps cravings away. Low-fat diets are not suitable for your brain since 60% of the solid weight of your brain is fat. Focus on healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds and sustainable, clean fish.
When you deprive your brain of good-quality nutrition, the possibility of brain tissue injury is a result of damaging inflammatory cells circulating within the brain’s enclosed space
Interestingly, for years, the medical field did not fully recognize the association between mood and food.
Written by: Melissa Ureten