Scientists have confirmed that eating healthily is just as important for your brain as it is your body.
We at The Healthy Mummy agree that there is a direct relationship between a nutritious diet, low in sugar and processed foods, and positive mental health.
Diets are just as important for your mental health as they are for your physical health
A study led by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden analysed previous research on diet.
Experts found that fat and sugar content can worsen mood as well as symptoms of ADHD. Diets high in fruit and vegetables reduced aggression, as well as reducing depression and anxiety.
“It is becoming clear the negative consequences of a poor-quality diet can impair mental health and cognitive function, which is likely to [get worse] with age,” the study notes read.
“Interestingly, nutrition and, in particular, malnutrition and obesity, are closely intertwined with mood regulation and stress sensitivity, suggesting a strong link between diet, metabolism and mental wellbeing.”
Researchers found that what people eat directly affects their mental health.
They also found that those with a vitamin B12 deficiency may be more likely to have poor memory or exhaustion.
“We have found there is increasing evidence of a link between a poor diet and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression,” says Professor Suzanne Dickson.
“However, many common beliefs about the health effects of certain foods are not supported by solid evidence.”
Diets and the development of depression
Meanwhile, a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looked at the association of western and traditional diets and the development of depression in over 1,000 women.
Researchers found those with traditional diets, being rich in whole grains, fruit and vegetables, had lower rates of mental disorders.
Good bacteria influences how well your body absorbs nutrients from what you eat and activates the neural pathways that travel between the digestive system and the brain.
Your gut affects the way you store fat, your blood glucose levels and how you react to hormones that make you feel hungry or full.
So we’ve established that your gut is like your second brain and you need to take care of it!
Experts advise we should eat:
- At least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Meals that contain potatoes, as well as wholegrain rice, pasta and bread.
- Eat 2 portions of fish each week as well as food high in protein such as beans, eggs and meat.
- 30 grams of fibre a day.
- Drink between 6 and 8 cups of water a day.
- Have less than 6g of salt a day.
- Avoid processed and saturated fats where possible.
World-first trial proves what you eat CAN help you beat depression