Is Food is related to Mental Wellbeing ?
Our brain works 24/7, it even works when we are sleeping. Our brain control our thought, senses, movements, heartbeat, breathing, rather it controls all the functions of our body. That’s the reason our brain constantly needs the energy or fuel, and fuel comes from the food we eat.
From beginning we have been taught that eating well, balanced and less will help us stay healthy and wealthy. I am sure that you are familiar with one of most common expression i.e. You are what you eat OR Jaisa man vaisa Ann and Jaisa Ann vaisa man.
Remember that our brain is one of the most important part of our body and it can be benefited or may suffer from the food we eat. Healthy and nutritious food can definitely help the brain to work/ function smoothly, whereas junk food can make us lethargic and moody.
In recent years Depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s are on rise amongst many of us, and it has been proved that mental health is directly linked with the food (nutrition). In today’s fast moving world we seem to forget the simple advice thatYou are what you eat, owing to various reasons, we miss on healthy and nutritious diet.
How food is related to mental health?
Do you know neurotransmitter (serotonin) which helps regulate various functions of our body (like appetite and sleep) is mainly produced in our gastrointestinal tract and gastrointestinal is lined with neurons. Here it is important to note that our digestive system doesn’t just digest the food we eat, but it also guides our emotions and produce the serotonin. Good bacteria of intestinal microbiome improve the capacity to absorb nutrients from the food, and activate neural pathways between the gut and the brain.
Here are some more tips for better mental status and mood
Healthy Gut : Our brain and intestines are linked via nerve and both are able to send messages to each other, our brain can effect the bacterias living in gut and gut can influence the emotions/ brain, as mentioned above 95% of Serotonin is produced by gut bacteria.
Try reducing sugar, flour and add fresh fruits, whole grain in your diet for an improved healthy gut.
Mindful Eating : Almost all of us don’t really pay attention on how we feel after our food (meal) nutritionists suggest one should keep food journal, (documenting what, where and when we eat) it may be possible that we end-up eating more, when we are stressed or other.
Try to schedule five or more smaller meals rather than having just three large meals.
Brain Food : Our brain continuously need fuel, in form of various carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. To get all required nutrients for improved mental functioning, we need to have variety of food in our daily diet.
Some other important healthy eating tips for better mental health
- Reduce rather avoid processed snack, food and sugar.
- Reduce the quantity of fats (oil) OR replace the regular fats with healthy fats
- Switch to healthy snack from packaged or processed food
- prepare a shopping list and stick to it. Also don’t shop when you are empty stomach/ hungry
- don’t eat in front of television rather start eating with family, and chew slowly.
A holistic approach towards personalised diet and lifestyle change can help you regain mental and physical well being, Planmeal is here to help you to build a better lifestyle
Best way to ensure sufficient minerals and vitamins for better mental and physical health, Start planning your food in advance. Start focusing on eating more clean and healthy diet, (not just for a day or two) follow for three- four weeks and see how you feel.
Meal planning can actually help you eat high quality food, which are full of lots of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients which nourish our brain and protect it from producing free radicals which are harmful for our body.
Healthy and Balanced Diet which include fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, whole grains, dairy, can significantly reduce the risk of depression and many other diseases.
Mental health (illness) can be life threatening, one should consult doctor for proper treatment, not just be limited to diet change or change of food habits.