As we are becoming ever more aware, our bodies and minds work together towards the upkeep of emotional, mental and physical wellbeing – all of which rely on one another. Whilst it is important to seek trained help from a mental health professional to address mental health issues, we can also help protect and promote our mental health through nutrition.
Our diets can affect our mental health directly and indirectly, affecting how we feel and act in daily life. The direct effect of nutrition on mental health is through the nutrients that control our hormones. The indirect effect is through the emotional impact caused by physical conditions which can be caused by a poor diet.
The brain can be specifically influenced by the nutrients we consume. Some experts believe that the rise in mental health issues correlates with the rise in consumption of processed foods. We are consuming significantly more saturated fats and sugars nowadays than ever before. These changes are thought to have an effect on a range of mental health disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and ADHD.
Our moods are also drastically affected by nutrition. A balanced diet can help prevent feelings of nausea, bloating, discomfort and help prevent undesired weight gain – all of which can lead to low moods or more severe psychological disorders. There can also be a lot of overwhelming and confusing advice out there, and if you aren’t in a very good place mentally, it can be very difficult to take the time to nourish and look after yourself. A nutritional therapist can help with mental health though by offering guidance and personalised nutritional advice which takes into account your mental and emotional state.