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GOOD FOOD,GOOD MOOD! How food affects our mental health.

Diet and Fitness

GOOD FOOD,GOOD MOOD! How food affects our mental health.

Dt.Khan Iram 06 Mar 2021 370 Views

The human brain is always “ON”.It takes care of our thoughts, movements, breathing and every other sense of our body.It functions even when we are asleep. Our brain is in constant need of fuel for its functioning and that fuel comes from the food we eat. The food affects the structure and function of our brain, ultimately our mood. Poor nutrition could be the leading factor of mental disease. One could eat bags of junk snacks washed down with sodas,and sometimes not eat anything at all,with no thoughts on what it does to their health. Eating junk food on a regular basis leads to an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, non alcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer. It also leads to inadequate growth and development .On contrary, starving may lead to tiredness, fatigue, dehydration, bone loss, constipation, effects on blood pressure , electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition, loss of monthly menstrual period and poor emotional and social functioning.Unhealthy eating pattern leads to mood swings.Depression and anxiety takes hold of one’s lives so terribly, that it hinders the entire lifestyle of an individual. Sadness, loneliness, loss of interest, crankiness and suicidal thoughts are major concerns.Therefore the role of diet and nutrition on mental health is very complex and needs to be understood and not ignored.

As a Dietician, I would like to put some light on which foods one should include in their diet and which foods to avoid.

  1. Oily Fish- Fish is a high source of Omega 3 fatty acid, that helps improve both short and long term memory. They also reduce levels of anxiety.
  2. Berries-They act as an antioxidant and consist of polyphenolics which improves memory concentration and attention.
  3. Yoghurt-Probiotics act as a brain gut connection,which assistsin lowering levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
  4. Wholegrains- Whole grains are rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to produce serotonin, that helps in calming the mind, improving mood and maintaining good sleep cycle.
  5. Walnuts- They are rich in antioxidants and also help in growth of neurons, meaning they help  to grow new brain cells, an essential aspect of maintaining good mental health.
  6. Beans-Beans contain thiamine,a vitamin needed for the production of acetycholine [the neurotransmitter essential for memory,thinking and working of the brain.
  7. Tomatoes-They consist of lycopene which helps fight against brain disease.Its been shown to delay the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Sugary drinks, Refined carbohydrates,Trans fatty acid, Processed foods, Aspartame,Alcohol, Cigarettes, Caffeine should be excluded from the diet .

 

ONE CANNOT THINK WELL,LOVE WELL;SLEEP WELL,IF ONE HAS NOT EATEN WELL.

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