Several types of research have proven time and again the relevance of a nutritious diet in healthy neurological functioning. Even psychiatrists from prestigious institutions approve this as they believe nutrition is one of the best complementary methods along with exercise to improve mental health in psychiatric disorders. This is especially true for depression, which is becoming common and is considered by the World Health Organisation as a global crisis. It affects people of all age groups ranging from children to adults. This article will investigate the importance of health and nutrition on mental health.
What Does Science Say?
Studies have shown that teens who eat poor diets have a higher risk of developing depression compared to those who have a high quality diet, rich in whole foods. Likewise, poor diet doubles the risk of attention deficit disorder (ADD) as well. Research in the last five years shows that mental health is as important as physical health because they both have a symbiotic relationship. Also, a healthy diet reduces the risk of developing mental health issues. However, health experts caution that diet cannot substitute for medications and psychiatric therapies.
How Diet Impacts Mental Health?
Shared below are the major ways diet affects mental health because it influences neurological functioning.
Brain Development: Just like every part of the body, the brain requires nutritious food for its development. This is because some micronutrients in food are essential for proper neurological functioning. For example, food rich in omega-3 fatty acids and zinc increases the connection between neurons. On the contrary, refined sugars and highly saturated fats do the opposite.
Healthy Gut Biome: Certain gut bacteria help with better absorption of B vitamins that plays an important role in reducing the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 help with breaking down homocysteine. Due to these reasons, it is good to eat food rich with probiotic bacteria. Also, anecdotal evidence shows that high sugar and high-fat diet worsens mental disorders.
What Is The Impact Of Nutrients On Brain Function?
Omega-3: This group of fatty acids improves mood, memory, and thinking.
Iron: It is a micronutrient that is essential for oxygen transportation by red blood cells. Its deficiency causes anemia that has been linked to depression.
Zinc: This mineral helps in controlling the stress response of the body. Its deficiency causes a lack of alertness and has been linked to depression.
B12 Vitamins: It has anti-inflammatory effect and its deficiency is linked to depression, dementia, and low moods.
Apart from the things mentioned above, eating a balanced nutritious diet is one of the most common points in wellness tips.