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Is your Mental Wellbeing affected by what you eat?
Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:41 pm
Hi, With stress having an impact to how your gut and digestive system behaves. Is there a connection to how your mental wellbeing is depending on what types of food you eat? As gut is controlled in part by the central nervous system in the brain, surely the contents of the gut can 'influence' your mental state?
Re: Is your Mental Wellbeing affected by what you eat?
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:09 pm
The answer to your question is yes!
Recently researchers and practitioners have begun to explore how food affects mental health and wellbeing. We all know that there are certain foods that we crave when we are upset or anxious (usually high fat!) but the link between what we eat and mental health and wellbeing is not yet totally understood.
The mental health charity Mind, cites studies conducted on the link between the fuel we put in our bodies and how it impacts on the brain and our emotions. Have a look on their website under 'food and mood'
Fluctuations in blood glucose levels can cause feelings of anxiety and alter energy levels. Likewise, caffeine and alcohol can lead to anxiety and mood swings. Some people will also find that their mental wellbeing is affected by chemicals in food, particularly food colouring. Low levels of certain vitamins, minerals and fatty acids can also affect mental health - low levels of omega three oils have been linked with depression.
Although a definitive causal link has not been clearly understood there are certain things in relation to eating and drinking that have been shown to be beneficial to mental health.
Foods that have been shown to make you feel better and improve your mood include:
• Bananas – increases serotonin levels
• Sunflower seeds – increases the body's production of norepinephrine
• Nuts – give you energy and stabilise blood sugar
• Dark chocolate – the darker the better, it gives you a natural ‘lift’
When you are feeling anxious you can affect your anxiety and mental wellbeing by eating long-acting carbohydrates and protein so that you do not get the sudden rise and fall in blood sugar which can increase your anxiety levels. So eating regualry, not allowing yourself to become hungry and staying well hydrated will definately help your overall mantal health and wellbeing.
I hope you have found this helpful