6 Ways Your Diet Contributes To Your Mental Health

 / 

, ,
your diet contributes to your mental health

What are you having for dinner? We know that what we eat affects our bodies. But did you know your diet can also affect your mind? Studies are discovering that a healthy and nutritious diet is not only good for your body, but it can also help to improve your mental health.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – Francois de la Rochefoucauld

You’ve probably heard the saying “you are what you eat” applied to physical health, but could the same phrase be true when it comes to your mental wellbeing? According to science, the answer is yes.

Recent studies show that one’s diet can drastically affect several factors pertaining to your mental health. Here are a few ways your diet contributes to your mental health.

6 Ways Your Diet Contributes To Your Mental Health

1. A Healthy Diet is Essential for Brain Development

“Nutrition is the only remedy that can bring full recovery and can be used with any treatment. Remember, food is our best medicine!” – Bernard Jensen

Maintaining a healthy diet throughout your life is vital for brain development. Eating quality food allows the body to create the necessary building blocks for a healthy brain. Without those building blocks, mental development will likely be stunted.

Related: 9 Basic Foods That Treat Depression Better Than Medication

2. Nutrients Encourage the Brain to Grow

Consistently consuming omega-3s and zinc, essential nutrients in a healthy diet, helps create connections between brain cells. These nutrients allow the brain to improve resilience and cognition.

​Conversely, if you pursue a diet with excess refined sugars, it can have a negative effect on essential brain proteins. This hinders your brain’s ability to create connections and improve brain function.

3. Food Influences Your Mood

They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, but it is actually the way to their brain.

The brain and the gastrointestinal tract have a close relationship. Essentially, your GI tract is continually sending messages to your mind using neurotransmitters. There are billions of bacteria in your GI tract that influence these neurotransmitters.

If you fill your body with healthy food, then you create “good” bacteria in your GI tract that subsequently sends positive messages to the brain.

However, if you consume unhealthy food, like sugar, it creates “bad” bacteria. This may make you feel good for a moment, but down the line, it will cause a crash that will likely have you feeling fatigued and unhappy.

4. Food Impacts Anxiety and Depression

“Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.” – Adam Ant

Dr. Ramsey, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, argues that a poor diet is a significant part of depression, which the World Health Organization reports is one of the biggest causes of disability in Americans.

Research has backed up this statement. In fact, studies show that people who maintain a proper diet feel happier and more satisfied with life. Research has also shown that adapting to a Mediterranean or DASH diet can drastically help those who suffer from anxiety or depression. Some cases have even shown individuals who try these diets no longer need to take antidepressants.

Related: The Baffling Connection Between Vegetarianism and Depression

5. Guilt and Eating

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Many people have eating problems, which is different than an eating disorder. An eating disorder is a medical illness whereas an eating problem is when you have a difficult relationship with the food you consume.

Feelings of guilt are just one sign of an eating problem. A continued eating problem can cause feelings of depression, anxiety, shame, and other negative feelings. By pursuing a healthy diet and letting go of guilt when you indulge in moderation will lead to more successful mental health.

6. Appearance, Self-Esteem, and The Mind

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore

Today, how you look plays a significant role in your mental health. Body image and self-esteem directly influence your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. If you have an unhealthy diet that causes you to unsatisfied with your appearance then your mental health may diminish.

By creating a healthy diet, you can not only look better but feel better too, increasing your overall mental health.

How To Improve Your Diet

“The healthy man is the thin man. But you don’t need to go hungry for it; remove the flours, starches, and sugars; that’s all.” – Samael Aun Weor

Creating a healthy diet may be hard at first, but the rewards are extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health.

You can begin by incorporating healthy foods and products into your daily life. If you are still having trouble maintaining a healthy diet, talk to your primary physician about seeing a nutritionist or taking nutritional supplements such as vitamin D and B12.

Some health insurance plans may even cover vitamins and other over-the-counter supplements. It would be wise to consult a doctor, nutritionist, or nutritional physiologist to determine which options are best for you.

“Diet is the essential key to all successful healing.” – Joseph Raynauld Raymond

Related: 7 Ways To Stop Emotional Eating And Be Mindful Of Your Diet

A nutritious diet can not only help you fight depression and other mental disorders, but it can also boost your mood, make you feel positive emotions, and a lot happier in life. Studies have found that a balanced, healthy diet can make us feel more energetic, creative, and motivated. It helps us become more purposeful and engaged in life.

It’s not necessary that you go for a keto or paleo diet. As long as you practice healthy eating habits and are mindful of what you consume, you will experience better mental health and well-being. Start by eating healthy for a few days and see how it makes you feel physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Once you have experienced the benefits first hand, you can follow a more strict diet plan and give your mental health the boost it deserves.

Go ahead and give it a try.


Written by Christian Worstell
Originally appeared on Berkeley Well-Being Institute
Diet and Depression: 6 Ways Food Impacts Your Mental Health
Diet and Depression: 6 Ways Food Impacts Your Mental Health
your diet contributes to your mental health pinop
your diet contributes to your mental health pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

Martyr Complex Meaning: 5 Signs Signaling a Sacrificial Syndrome

Martyr Complex Meaning: Five Signs of The Sacrificial Syndrome

Ever met someone who always puts others’ needs before their own, sacrificing their own well-being for others? They may exhibit a pattern of self-sacrifice and recognition for their suffering known as the martyr complex. Let’s explore martyr complex meaning, martyr complex symptoms, martyr complex example and how to deal with someone with martyr complex.

Martyr Complex Meaning

Martyr complex refers to a psychological pattern in which individuals adopt a self-sacrificial role, assuming the position of a



Up Next

Understanding Atelophobia Symptoms: Fear Of Imperfection Unveiled

Understanding Atelophobia Symptoms And Seven Ways To Overcome

Do you ever find yourself plagued by self-doubt, constantly fearing failure, or feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to be perfect? If so, you might be experiencing atelophobia symptoms, a condition that affects countless individuals worldwide. 

Let us explore the depths of atelophobia, exploring its definition, symptoms, and related factors. By gaining a deeper understanding of this condition, we can empower ourselves and others to overcome the paralyzing fear of imperfection and embrace personal growth and self-acceptance.

Atelophobia Definition



Up Next

Electronic Dementia: Understanding The Impact of Screen Time on Brain Health

electronic dementia

Are you constantly glued to your smartphone, scrolling through social media or binge-watching your favorite series? Do you find it hard to concentrate or remember things? If so, you might be experiencing the effects of a modern-day phenomenon known as electronic dementia or digital dementia. 

In this digital age, where electronic devices dominate our lives, it’s crucial to understand the impact they can have on our cognitive abilities. Let us delve into digital dementia meaning, explore its causes, and discuss potential options for digital dementia treatment. 

What is Electronic Dementia?

Digital dementia meaning:



Up Next

How To Recover Repressed Memories: 20 Ways To Rediscover Your Story

How To Recover Repressed Memories: Helpful Strategies

Have you ever wondered about the hidden chambers of your mind, where memories lie concealed, waiting to be revealed? Repressed memories, the enigmatic phenomena that can be both elusive and powerful, have long fascinated psychologists and individuals alike. Let’s find out how to recover repressed memories.

What are Repressed Memories?

Repressed memories are memories that have been unconsciously blocked from our conscious awareness. These memories, locked away in the depths of our subconsciou



Up Next

What Is Eldest Daughter Syndrome: 10 Key Signs and Lasting Impacts Of Being The First Child

What Is Eldest Daughter Syndrome: Ten Key Signs and Impact

Are you familiar with the term – Eldest Daughter Syndrome? It’s a phenomenon that delves into the emotional weight often placed on the shoulders of the oldest daughters in many families, right from a tender age.

From tending to their younger siblings’ needs and assisting with daily household chores to taking care of ailing parents or even handling mundane tasks like sorting online orders, eldest daughters frequently bear a substantial but often invisible load of domestic responsibilities from their early years.

Now, you might wonder, what’s the harm in this? Shouldn’t older children naturally lend a helping hand and look out for their younger siblings? Isn’t it believed that girls are inherently better at caregiving? These commonly held beliefs are so deeply ingrain



Up Next

Waiting Mode Anxiety: Why It’s Holding You Back from Taking Action

What Is Waiting Mode Anxiety? 8 Ways To Overcome It

In today’s fast-paced world, where every moment counts, the concept of “waiting mode anxiety” has become an all-too-familiar experience for many.

Whether you’re awaiting an important meeting, a doctor’s appointment, or any other significant event, the relentless countdown can hijack your focus and productivity.

In this article, we’ll delve into the nuances of waiting mode anxiety, understand its underlying causes, and explore practical ways to break free from its clutches.

What is Wa



Up Next

Your Mental Health Matters: 5 Habits You Need To Let Go Of Right Now

mental health matters

Everyone talks about the importance of having good physical health, and a healthy and strong body. But what about mental health, or rather the importance of good mental health? Just like physical health, mental health matters equally. 

As caregiver to my mom and sister, both of whom were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I got good at pretending I was fine. From the outside looking in, I played the role of someone who had it all together.

On the rare occasion when somebody would ask me, “Are you okay?” or “What’s the matter?” my automatic responses would be “I’m fine” and “Nothing.” Few people ever bothered to