Whatever you are putting in your stomach has a significant effect on your health, be it physical or mental. The treatment plan for almost every physical illness comes with a diet plan that can help. But, is that the same with mental health? Can diet affect it, treat it, or make it worse? Well, there have been many studies that say that nutrition has a direct influence on mental health.
If we look around, anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health issues. Since these illnesses were becoming too common and intense, several types of research have been conducted to search for new ways to reduce the impact of these illnesses rather than relying on therapies and medications for a lifetime. This led to the emergence of a new area of research that focuses on the impact of nutrition on mental health problems, nutritional psychology.
How does Food Affects How You Feel?
Eating a nutrient-rich diet can help in improving energy and mood. Several elements of your diet play a significant role in your emotional health. For instance, if you want to keep up your energy and concentrate better, you need blood glucose that comes from carbohydrates. Major sources of carbohydrates are fruits, legumes, vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat dairy. If your blood glucose rises and falls rapidly, it will make you feel low and anxious.
Along with having enough carbohydrates, if you don’t have enough minerals and vitamins in your body, it can make your physical and mental health suffer. A lack of iron can lead to lethargic and tired feelings. If you don’t have enough folate in your body, you are at high risk of getting depressed. If there is a lack of vitamin B in your body, it can make you feel irritable.
Also, proteins strong role in providing amino acid that helps regulate your thoughts and feelings. Although people might think that fat is bad for them some fat won’t harm them in any way. Fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3 are very important for your brain to work fine. It can be found in oily fish, seeds, nuts, eggs, and other dairy products. If you are focusing on a low-fat diet, it can affect your brain functioning as the brain needs omega-3 fatty acids.
Several studies have been conducted on dehydration anxiety as well, where you feel that you haven’t been taking an adequate amount of water and it causes you anxiety. You think about keeping your water bottle with you all time, and the thought of losing it makes you stressed. Some people might experience panic attacks when there is no water around them.
Can a Nutritionist Help?
If you are feeling depressed, stressed out, or anxious most of the time, you should think about what are you having in your daily diet. If you can’t figure it out, you can go to a nutritionist who can help you have a balanced diet and then, you can see the changes in your mental health too. Seeking professional support is the right step because they will talk to you about what you need, what your body needs, and what should your diet plan look like. Change your diet now and see the difference.