The relationship between diet and mental health is not a new one. In fact, recent studies have suggested that a diet low in saturated fat may lower the risks of depression, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. But it turns out that the relationship between diet and mental health is a complex one. While the fats in the diet do influence the body’s cholesterol levels and blood pressure, the link between diet and mental health is influenced by other factors as well. In particular, the genes we inherit from our parents affect this link between diet and mental health, but there are other things that affect it as well.
Exercise has been shown to be a very positive influence on mental health, particularly when it comes to depression. This is because exercise improves blood flow in the brain, allowing nutrients to reach the brain more quickly. Exercise also provides a sort of “antidote” to some of the chemicals and toxins in the body that may cause the feeling of depression. Finally, exercise makes us feel better, so we are less likely to be depressed if we are trying to diet. However, just the act of exercise alone may not help.
One of the biggest influences of diet and mental health is what we eat and how much of it. In most people, the amount of food they eat is balanced between carbohydrates, fats, protein and unsaturated fats. As far as diet and mental health goes, the more of the saturated fats that we eat, the worse it is for us, both physically and mentally. Research has indicated that those who tend to overeat have poorer sleep, are more likely to experience stress and have higher stress levels than others who are healthy and eat the recommended amounts of food.
The second most important factor in the connection between diet and mental health is exercise. Regular physical activity is important for our overall health, and when we are healthier physically, we tend to be mentally healthier as well. Many people who are overweight or obese do not exercise, and this leads to a variety of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes and osteoporosis. So, the more you participate in physical exercise, the better off you will be mentally.
Finally, one of the keys to diet and mental health is sleep. Mental health is affected by the quality and amount of sleep we get each night. In the days of fast-food and microwave meals, a sedentary lifestyle may seem convenient, but it can have very negative consequences on your mental health. So, get plenty of sleep each night. A sedentary lifestyle is also related to higher levels of stress, which can contribute to the feeling of depression.
Getting the proper diet to maintain optimal health is an important part of our lifestyle. But in order for us to benefit the most from our diets, we need to make sure that the diet is healthy and that we are following it the right way. Once you know the basics about diet and mental health, then you will be better able to take advantage of the foods that are good for you. Once you have learned how to use diet to improve your mental health, you may even begin to take up dieting so that you can improve your overall health.