“Food and Mood” Do What I Eat Affect My Mental Health?

1
1

Isn’t “What will you have for Lunch/Dinner?” the most nagging question that we often hear at least once a day. What makes this question hard to answer is our generation’s inclination towards junk food that contradicts with our parent’s expectations of us having wholesome healthy meals. However, easy accessibility, trend and most importantly good taste lures us towards unhealthy eating habits.

Should I eat a Banana? some Fruits? a bag of Oreos? order a Pizza? a Burger with some Fries? or have a Smoothie bowl?

When we make these everyday food choices, we are bound to first think about our physical health and outward appearance. But there sure is another factor we may want to consider in picking foods: it’s impact on our Mental Health.

Yes! you read it right!

A quintessential fact is that diet plays a significant role in improving one’s physical health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases by controlling one’s vitals. On the contrary, with mental health becoming a huge focus for scientists and the general population at large, a lesser-known fact has been established which talks about the relationship between one’s diet and their mental well being.

As complex as this may sound, it is important to understand the nuances involved. Our food provides us with the basic nutrients and energy that our brain needs to function appropriately. Also, our diet directly influences other factors that can impact mood and cognition, such as gut bacteria, hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters. So to say, our food doesn’t just affect our waistline but also our moods, emotions, and even long-term conditions like depression or anxiety. A recent detailed study found out that eating a healthy diet, one that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and limits highly processed foods, can help significantly reduce symptoms of depression, make one feel more energised, enhance feelings of happiness and reduce stress. Also, too much junk food and sugar can put our mental health on risk. To this avail, it isn’t surprising how “Nutritional Psychiatry” is gaining momentum in today’s time.

There is abundant research about the impact of dietary modifications on one’s mental health, having read about it all in theory, I wanted to give it a fair shot practically before putting this information forward. Not sidelining my taste for green leafy vegetables and healthy satiations, I fairly enjoyed foods that are rich in saturated fats and were processed. To this, I worked out for myself a ‘1-month challenge’. I meticulously carved out diet plans and alternate meal plans. I began to practice a ‘plant-based diet’ and abstained from the consumption of meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Also, I substituted processed vegetable oil with organic cold-pressed oils for cooking and replaced processed food with organic alternatives.

Not to deny, it was tedious in the beginning. However, deeper study and research led me to gain insight into alternative food/meal options along with their recipes. Gradually, I resorted to almond milk, replaced the cocoa with cacao, sugar with organic honey (yes, I didn’t leave honey), unhealthy munchies with nut bars and most importantly, aerated drinks with water-based fresh vegetable smoothies. It took a lot more than mere knowledge to adapt to this change. To keep a tab on the effects of dietary changes on my vitals, I underwent regular blood tests as well.

Undeniably, there were times when I felt like succumbing to my cravings and have a blueberry cheesecake or a chocolate mud pie, but I persevered. I searched for restaurants that served Nutri-food and discovered some gems and their food was as mouth-watering as it could get. Now, it’s been 7 months that I have adapted to this lifestyle and I feel great from within. I feel I have a healthier gut, enhanced energy and I find myself more in rhythm with my body.

My suggestion to anyone who is thinking of bringing about a change in their diet since years and is still procrastinating, would be to JUST DO IT. Trust me, there is no tomorrow. There is only today. So start now!

6 Simple Tips For a Jumpstart

  • Emphasise on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat products.
  • Limit saturated fats and trans fats, and added sugars – such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, confectionery, sugar-sweetened soft drinks, vitamin waters, energy and sports drinks.
  • Focus on foods containing mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Replace butter, cream, coconut and palm oil with unsaturated fats from oils, spreads, nut butters, and avocado.
  • Switch to organic food.
  • Control portion sizes.
  • Limit alcohol.

Takeaway Message – If you ever feel like giving in, remember, that having one’s stomach well-fed with healthier food is the key to not giving in. It is only when you’ll be too hungry and will have no healthy alternative that your hunger will make you succumb to junk food. So, always keep yourself well-fed and hydrated.

Also, remember, that while diet may be important to our mood and mental health, it is unlikely to be a silver bullet for treating mental illness. Diet is certainly a part of the picture, but so is physical activity, good psychological care, medication [when needed]. adequate sleep, adequate exposure to nature and balanced lifestyle. My general take-home message is to have an integrative approach.

For anything beyond this, feel free to contact me.

Let’s together bring about a food revolution!

Eat Healthy = Be Hearty = Be Happy

Pin up фокусується тільки на новинках ігор

Сюжет ігрових автоматів pin up дуже різноманітний, віддача вище середнього, є маса призових варіантів та інших прибуткових фішок.

Варто також відзначити, що в колекції порталу немає застарілих речей – тут не обійшли увагою класику азартних ігор, але все ж у пріоритеті – саме новинки індустрії. Це ті ігри, які хочеться відвідувати знову і знову

More from Akanksha Maingi

Conquering My Fears

I believe that there is no better teacher or mentor than our...
Read More
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Akash
Akash
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing this Akanksha ! This was very informative ..