Eating right and staying active is a crucial part of maintaining one’s physical health, but what foods are good for your mental health? As of 2017, 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression and 250 million suffer from an anxiety disorder. Some people seek assistance from clinical professionals to help them overcome their mental health disorders, while others may look for support through friends and family. However, research has shown that eating nutritious foods and participating in regular exercise can relieve stress and build-up your confidence.
Munchies and Mental Health: what foods are good for mental health?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, nearly two-thirds of people who regularly ate fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, salads or fruit juice reported experiencing no mental health problems. Individuals who struggled with a mental illness were found the eat more unhealthy foods, such as chocolate, potato chips, and take-out meals. Based on the study, it was discovered that a stable and steady mood can be affected by the amounts of carbohydrates, amino acids, minerals and water that a person consumes.
With these facts in mind, it could be beneficial to your mental health to try and eat foods that are not high in sugar in order to avoid energy levels crashing after a brief elevation. Because high-sugar foods are rapidly absorbed into a person’s bloodstream, individuals can become very tired after that initial rush of energy. However, fruit and vegetables can be more filling and are lower in sugar, which means that they are absorbed into the body slower, which helps keep a person’s mood consistent and can alleviate feelings of depression.
Since so much food is processed and artificially sweetened, the people who eat them are not getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. In order to stay physically and mentally healthy, a person’s diet should include vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, omega 3, vitamin B and vitamin D3. These nutrients can help relieve anxiety, improve a person’s mood and reduce the severity of a person’s depression.
Working Out While Working On Your Mind
Along with eating right, keeping up with physical activity can help improve a person’s life mentality as well. When people hear the word“exercise,” they can be quick to assume that a regularly structured program is what is necessary. In this case, any kind of physical activity can make a difference to a person’s mental state. Exercising releases feel-good endorphins that can better a person’s mood. The chemicals that are generated from being active can help build up a person’s self-esteem and improve their self-image. When a person begins to feel good about themselves, their self-worth escalates, thus alleviating depressive feelings.
Staying physically active can also reduce feelings of stress. When a person exercises, norepinephrine, a chemical that can stabilize a brain and body’s reaction to stress, forms. Norepinephrine allows a person to calm down before they experience an anxiety attack. Being active also gives a person the opportunity to interact with others in their community, which can be helpful when working on overcoming depression. A small wave or a short conversation with a neighbor can go a long way for someone feeling alone and lost.