Nutrition and mental health: what you should know
Disclaimer: Although I have personal and professional experience in the mental health field, I am not a licensed mental health professional. The information contained in this article is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this article are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disorder.
Nutrition and mental health are slowly growing in fashion. What we eat directly influences our bodies in some way.
But it makes sense, doesn't it?
Our mood can be tied to our body–especially if there is a deficit.
I always make sure that I eat enough foods high in omega fats. We can make small choices every day that impact our mental health through our food choices.
Why nutrition is essential for mental health
Our body is connected to our mind and vice versa. Our brain is the mechanics behind telling every part of our body to work from our brain stem, controlling our involuntary movements, such as body regulation and our long-term memory that allows us to remember the dribble of spit rolling down the back of our throat.
Our brain is the control center for who we are: we have to take care of it.
In fact, our brain is made up of nearly 70% fat, so it is crucial to have healthy fats to support proper brain function. There are two types of fat to be aware of, saturated and unsaturated fat. Saturated fat is solid and room temperature, which raises your harmful cholesterol levels.
Specific foods can help promote proper brain function and mental wellbeing. Simply changing your diet may not be enough for a total mental health overhaul. Diet, exercise, and proper sleep, among a host of other things, are important.
To start off, there are most certainly no good or bad foods. All foods nourish our body in some way--that's why we need variety in our diet. But there are specific foods that may help promote mental health.
Foods that promote mental wellbeing
Eating a proper diet and getting good exercise is a foundation of keeping our body and mind healthy. You don't need to train like an athlete, but a simple walk every day can do the trick.
But did you know there are foods we can eat to help promote our mental health?
These three main food groups should be incorporated into a routine diet for your mental health:
- Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes, or quinoa.
- Lean proteins: Chicken, meat, fish, eggs, soybeans, nuts, and seeds.
- Fatty acids: fish, meat, eggs, nuts, flaxseed
(this is an except from the Medium article, Proactive Mental Health Steps For 2022)
Our brain is a vital organ in our body that needs specific nutrition to work at its best. Proper nutrition intake for our mental health is just as important as any other part of our self-care routine.
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