May is mental health awareness month. We hear so often today about the myriad of mental health issues that folks are experiencing. I have family members, friends and myself notwithstanding who struggle to keep up. When I’m chatting, with them, I often feel my self channeling my mother. Let me explain. Back when I was a child, and I would mention that I’m sleepy when I’ve slept all night or I’m hungry after eating a big meal or that I had a headache. You get the picture; I don’t want to go on too long. Anyway, whenever I came to my mother about these things her go to answer would always be, “have you had water today, go drink a glass of water.” Well, whenever I’m chatting with my friends, family, etc. my go to is, “how’s your diet, what are you eating daily?” As soon as that response leaves my lips, I’m triggered into remembering my mom. Whom I love dearly, this is not a dig against her at all.
Lucky for me and them, based on my findings throughout the many books and internet searches, I’m not too far off. Please keep reading.
Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall our well-being, we must prioritize it just as we do our physical health. Many factors can impact mental health, including stress, genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. However, I am talking about the one thing that is often overlooked…nutrition.
What is good nutrition?
Good nutrition is the consumption of a well-balanced and varied diet that provides the body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. A balanced diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. When it comes to good nutrition you mush should limit your intake of processed foods, sugary, and saturated and trans fats.
The impact of good nutrition on mental health
Several studies have demonstrated the link between good nutrition and better mental health outcomes. A diet that lacks essential nutrients can lead to several mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are prevalent mental health disorders that can significantly affect an individual's quality of life. A study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry found that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins was associated with a lower risk of depression and anxiety. In contrast, a diet high in processed foods, sugary drinks, and saturated fats was linked to a higher risk of depression and anxiety.
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, individuals with bipolar disorder were found to have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood, which are essential for brain health. Increasing omega-3 intake through diet or supplements may help alleviate some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disorder that affects memory and cognitive function. Studies have shown that a diet high in antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, can help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
In conclusion, good nutrition is essential for maintaining good mental health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats can increase the risk of these mental health disorders. By making small changes to our diet and prioritizing good nutrition, we can improve our mental health outcomes and overall well-being.
Remember, I am not a doctor. This information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with questions you may have regarding a medical condition.