Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Healthy eating has been proven to reduce your chances of diseases. A healthy diet has also been shown to improve your mental health and reduce your chances of low mood disorders. Those recovering from injuries, especially brain injuries, will also benefit from eating healthy foods that support their recovery. If you have a loved one recovering from a brain injury, you’ll have many questions, such as ‘how does it feel to be conscious but unable to move?’ Click the link to find out. You will also want to know how to support their overall health, so here we have compiled a list of ten things you consume in your diet that can
have a positive impact on mental health.
1 – Protein such as lean chicken, eggs, and fish contain amino acids, which help to keep your mind functioning properly, whilst regulating your thoughts and feelings.
2 – Reduce your caffeine intake as caffeine is a stimulant that provides short bursts of energy but can lead to feelings of anxiety once the stimulant has subsided. Sufficient sleep is also an essential part of maintaining a positive mental state, and this can be disrupted by too much caffeine. Aim to drink decaffeinated drinks or reduce your intake altogether.
3 – B vitamins are found in foods such as liver, fresh orange juice, and red meat, which can combat depressive and irritable states.
4 – Iron-rich foods such as nuts and seeds, contribute to the production of brain chemicals that regulate mood and emotional behaviors, therefore supporting a more stable mental health.
5 – Low sugar foods will help maintain your sugar levels. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels have been associated with mood and energy levels.
6 – Artificial coloring and flavorings have been shown in some research to produce abnormal reactions in the brain, so aim to eat more organic and fresh food instead.
7 – Hydration is an essential part of maintaining good mental health. Dehydration has been proven to impact the ability to concentrate or think negatively, so everyone should aim to drink two pints of water a day.
8 – Eating regularly contributes to a stable blood sugar level, which gives us more energy to concentrate, remain calm and focused. It may be tempting to skip meals, especially when we’re busy, but eating regularly ensures your energy levels don't deplete during the day.
9 – Eating the right fats. So, some fats are really good, and some are not so good – it’s being aware of this difference and eating the correct ones that will contribute to a healthier diet. Our brains need edible fatty oils to perform at their best, fats such as omega 3, found in oily fish and omega six which is in eggs and avocado.
10 – Whole grains provide slow-releasing energy to our bodies, making us feel fuller for longer, helping us to sustain energy levels throughout the day, which contributes to the ability to think clearer and concentrate better.
These small steps towards a healthier diet can make significant impacts on your physical and mental health.