A famous French physician named Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said in 1826 “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”. Scientific evidence supports the statement and only nutrient-rich food can provide people with all the nutrients we need. For many years that was a strong believe just for our physical health and fitness but recent studies have shown that this phrase now extends even to our mental health.
These recent studies show that good nutrition is essential and the linking between what is consumed and mental wellbeing is growing rapidly. Specifically it is shown that many mental health conditions such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), stress and Alzheimer’s disease are influenced by dietary factors.
How diet and nutrition can affect your wellbeing?
●Cooking skills can not only provide you with the tools to improve your diet and nutrition but also can impact on your self-esteem, as increased confidence is linked with practising and developing new competencies.
●Cooking and eating can be associated with social events that promote a sense of belonging, strengthen family and friend ties and enhance overall social inclusion.
●Additionally, cooking skills can often be a starting point for moving into volunteering or paid employment, both of which can play an important role in giving back to the society and help us find mental balance.
●Growing your own food can have a positive effect on stress release by promoting relaxation and physical activity, as well as developing new skills.
So what types of food can help you?
Almost two thirds of people who don’t face any mental health problems in their daily life are people consuming fresh fruit or fruit juice, which is more than the half of the studied population. Similar results have been shown for people who consume fresh vegetables and salad in their daily life or try to involve them as much as they can in their routine. In addition, your feelings and wellbeing can be protected by ensuring that your diet provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and water. Some examples are whole grain products, lean meat and fatty fish, vegetable oils, eggs, seeds and legumes.
Foods that should be avoided and are more unhealthy are chips and crisps, chocolate, ready meals and takeaways. The majority of these tend to have high levels of salt and sugar, which give a burst of energy but don’t contain the essential vitamins and minerals needed. Moreover, unhealthy eating habits can also lead to bloating, pain and discomfort that can result in increased mood swings or even stop you from living normally.
Check out what the NHS is suggesting as the eat-well guide in order to have a healthy and balanced diet.
Remember, if you want to follow a balanced diet you should talk with your doctor as each person is different. Even if eating healthy eating can assist your mental wellbeing it should be alongside any treatments suggested by your doctor.