Before the age of 40, half of us will have suffered from a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. We know that mental illnesses are due to a mixture of personality traits and genetic, biological, and environmental factors, and a global pandemic falls into the latter category. Although there is no specific food to treat mental health or transformation health issues, studies show that proper nutrition can help relieve symptoms and improve overall well-being, while helping us to overcome difficult times.
Needless to say, body and mind connects: people with mental illness are often more at risk of developing chronic diseases, and vice versa. Ultimately, how we feed our bodies can have a huge impact on our mental health. Here are four strategies to optimize your mental health through food:
1) Start slow
Even with spending a lot more time at home, it can be hard to focus on food for mental health. If you are experiencing mental health issues, you may indeed have more difficulty. You could be in trouble for adopting healthy habits. Right now due to barriers such as low energy, impaired cognitive and social functions, and lack of motivation. If this sounds familiar, start with small changes like paying attention to how you feel when you eat a particular food. Simply becoming aware of this mind-body connection shows to improve the food choices we make.
Another small change for mental health: try to see food not only as “fuel”, but also as a way to manage your stress and take care of yourself. Take the time to prepare exactly what you want. Lovingly snack for the next few days by peeling and chopping fruits and vegetables. your trail mix from whatever dry goods you have on hand also. Start a video call with a friend or family member while you’re making dinner or eating. you can enjoy a meal in good “company” for doing these things. Going back to basics, even if it’s a simple step, can have a powerful impact on your emotions.
2) Try the Mediterranean approach
Randomized controlled trials have recently provided a link between diet quality. One of these trials showed a strong correlation between the Mediterranean diet and decreased levels of inflammatory markers and processes, which are thought to play a role in the onset of depressive disorders for mental health.
Traditional Mediterranean diets characterizes from a high intake of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and extra virgin olive oil. Eat fish in moderation, while red meat, processed foods, and sweets are eaten very rarely.
3) Decrease your consumption of sugar and foods
Epidemiological studies consistently show that diets high in ultra-processed foods. Sugar is the reason of higher risk of depression. On the other hand, eating high-quality foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants shows to help nourish the brain, promote positive emotions, increase coping skills, and improve mental health. self-esteem and overall quality of life. This boils down to two key Suggestion:
Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. you can also use whole grains, nuts and seeds, and protein sources. use fish, chicken, legumes, tofu, and yogurt in your diet.
Limit your intake of processed foods. Don’t use take-out meals, deli meats, and most packaged prepared foods as well as foods with added sugars and refined flours such as juices, flavored yogurts, cereals, pastries as well as white bread, and pasta made from white flour.
A diet program in the supervision of a consultant can help manage depression. Our team of dietitians is available to answer your questions during the COVID-19.
4) Feed your microbiome
Happiness neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine produces in the gut and are closely linking to the billions of “good” bacteria that make up your microbiome. These bacteria also help limit inflammation. they play a role in immunity and nutrient absorption, and activate neural pathways that connect the gut to the brain. Recent studies also suggest that our gut microbiota may also have beneficial effects in the prevention and treatment of depression.
Lets start taking care of your gut health. you should increase your intake of foods that support digestive health, such as foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotic foods, including, bananas, garlic, and onion, are high in fiber and feed the good bacteria in your gut. Examples of probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir. Probiotic supplements aren’t for everyone; therefore, it is important to discuss this with your health care team before taking them.
If you are feeling worried, sad, or even depressed during this unprecedented time, know that you are not alone. If your negative emotions are becoming a major issue in your life, it is important to communicate with your professional psychological healthcare for psych evaluation near me or access your virtual care platform.
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