Diet and Health: How Diet Affects Your Mental Health

It is easy to understand that diet has an important impact on human health.

But with the further research on diet and health in recent years, people are increasingly aware that diet is equally important to people's mental health.

High sugar, high fat and other "junk food" not only makes your waistline and weight soar, but also brings a series of emotional and mental health problems.

Nutrition experts provide an overview of the link between diet and mental health, and teach you how to improve your mental health through diet modification.

The importance of dietary discipline and blood sugar

First of all, it is important to have a regular diet so as to ensure stable blood sugar.

If you eat irregularly, there is a risk that your blood sugar will drop, and if your blood sugar drops, you will become fatigued and irritable.

If blood glucose levels go up and down, it can lead to mood disorders and even symptoms including depression and anxiety.

If you don't eat regularly, your blood sugar will fluctuate, causing more damage to your body than just your hungry stomach.

If you are constantly hungry during the day, it can affect your mood, concentration and energy. Therefore, it is important to eat regularly during the day to keep your blood sugar stable.

But this does not mean that you have to keep eating, because constant snacking can affect appetite and insulin function.

In addition, not drinking enough water will also affect your mental health. If your body is dehydrated, it can make it difficult to concentrate and think clearly.

Like other parts of the body, brain cells need water to function properly. This is why people who are dehydrated are more likely to be mentally stressed.

Water helps with blood flow, and without enough water to help remove toxins from the body, people can feel weak.

Dehydration also increases cravings for unhealthy foods and beverages, such as potato chips, alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated beverages.

Drinking alcohol can reduce cognitive function because the body needs water to clear alcohol from the bloodstream, which can lead to further dehydration, which in turn can affect cognitive function.

Sugary carbonated beverages will quickly replenish the body's energy, but the subsequent sudden drop in blood sugar will also make people feel tired and mentally exhausted.

Balanced Diet and Mental Health

So how important is a balanced diet to mental health?

Professor Jacka, director of the Centre for Food and Mood at Deakin University in Australia, specializes in the link between diet, gut health, and brain physiology and mental health.

She explained that numerous studies have shown that a healthy diet can prevent depression. Depression has now become a major mental health problem for people around the world.

In addition to taking into account education, income levels and other important health factors, the link between diet and mental health has been noted, said Professor Jecca.

Evidence from randomized controlled trials has shown that helping people with depression improve the quality of their diet can dramatically improve their mental health and functioning, said Professor Jecca.

The trial found that a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fish and olive oil, which mimics a traditional Mediterranean diet, was the most beneficial.

Nutritionist Shah added that a balanced diet can provide the brain with the nutrients needed to maintain an optimistic mood and improve signal transmission between brain cells to keep the brain in top condition.

The nutrients needed to maintain physical and mental health are abundant, so it's important to eat a varied diet and to eat more of the foods you normally eat little or nothing of.

Recent scientific research shows that when people feel tired more likely to be tempted by high-calorie, high-sugar and high-fat foods.

Nutritionist Shah said, if you only occasionally, it is not a big problem. But never develop a habit and dependence.

Shah warned that some foods not only affect the digestion, make you uncomfortable, but also affect the mood.

But if you develop bad habits and form a vicious cycle, she recommends seeking medical treatment to find the root cause of the symptoms, such as work stress, anxiety or something else? Then try to cure it.

But this may take some time, because to change a person's eating habits can not be done in a day.

Be wary of processed foods and beverages

Many processed foods and beverages have added sugars, fats, salt and refined flours, which are very bad for health.

Many studies around the world have linked such foods and beverages to worsening mental health conditions as well as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases, according to Professor Jecca.

Professor Jacka further pointed out that animal studies have shown that sugar and the "Western diet" can have adverse effects on parts of the hippocampus and therefore cause behavioral and cognitive problems.

At the same time, the study also showed that an unhealthy diet is closely associated with a smaller hippocampus in humans. At the same time, a healthy diet is closely related to the larger hippocampus.

The hippocampus is a key part of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as mental health, so it has an important impact on people from childhood to old age.

The effect of gut microbes on mood

There is a growing interest in the role and influence of the gut in human health, and a growing body of research in this area.

The Center for Food and Mood at Professor Jecca's university has 15 studies focusing on diet-gut-mental health.

According to Professor Jacka, diet is one of the most important factors affecting the health of the gut and its bacteria.

She said we now know that gut bacteria (microbiota) play a critical role in immune system health, metabolism, gene expression, and mental and brain health.

For example, if you drink a lot of alcohol, you can damage the intestinal wall, which can lead to inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, increases the risk of many diseases, including depression.

Is it possible to improve mental health through diet?

Some of Professor Jecca's research projects are treating patients with depression through diet and lifestyle changes.

In their first randomized controlled trial of patients with moderate to severe clinical depression, they treated patients with a Mediterranean diet for three consecutive months, with good results.

Their trial also showed that the more people improved their diet, the more their depression improved.

They also hope that the future can help treat depression through diet and exercise.

Shah suggests that if you want to improve your mental health through diet, you may want to seek the help of a professional therapist.

You can work with a nutritional therapist to gradually change the structure of your diet and understand why a balanced diet is so important, while also allaying any worries you may have.

But the key, says Shah, is that you have to have the motivation and mindset to change your diet to do so.

About Jerry

There are only 24 hours in a day, so why not spend it in a healthy and happy way? So, I choose to spend it happily
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