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Why Eating Well Improves Your Mental Health

Society has taught us that eating well will help us feel and look good physically. Little is mentioned about how good nutrition improves our mental health. A healthy, balanced diet helps improve brain functionality, helping one think clearly and stay more cognizant. Additionally, it can help boost our concentration.

Conversely, a poor diet often leads to fatigue, slowed reaction time, and sometimes even impaired decision-making. When done consistently over a long period, a poor diet has the potential to inflict stress and ultimately lead to depression.

Among the biggest health impairments in the 21st century is overreliance on processed food. Most processed foods are high in carbohydrates and sugar, training the brain to be addicted to them. Over time, the brain becomes disinterested in nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. 

To reverse the cravings, you need to be very intentional with the foods you eat. 

Stress and Depression

Excess consumption of sugar and processed foods often leads to body and brain inflammation. The inflammation causes mood disorders, which include anxiety and depression. To bring this into context, remember the last time you felt stressed and how easily grabbing a burger or ice cream for solace became an option. In such circumstances, fresh fruits and vegetables are the last things on our minds. 

According to the American Dietetic Association, eating behavior changes when a person is depressed or under a significant amount of stress. Excess eating leads to sluggishness and weight gain, while insufficient eating results in exhaustion. This vicious cycle is possible to overcome.

Improve your mental health by focusing on adding fruits and vegetables into your diet. To protect your brain, have more dark green leafy vegetables as well as foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Legumes, seeds, and nuts are also great brain foods.

Developing a Healthy Gut

Researchers continue to prove the significance of what we eat in our health. Most recently, the connection between the intestines and the brain has been explored. The Vagus nerve connects our guts with our brain, constantly sending signals to one another. Although the gut can influence brain behavior, the brain also affects the bacteria living in the gut. 

Gut bacteria release neurochemicals, which the brains pick to regulate most physiological and mental processes, such as mood. Studies show that about 95% of serotonin, a hormone responsible for mood stabilization, comes from gut bacteria. 

Cultivating Mindful Eating

One of the initial steps for having well-balanced meals is be being attentive to how you feel after eating a certain meal or meal combination. Keep a food journal. Document what, when, and where you eat in order to determine your eating patterns. 

Often, you might recognize that you tend to eat differently when under stress. Being aware of this pattern in real time will help you take control of your behavior. 

Sometimes, the stress levels are too high to be managed alone. In such scenarios, seek professional help. Considering the gruesome implications of poor mental health, consider seeking help as a sign of strength and not weakness.

Proper Brain Food

Your nervous system needs good nutrition to build new proteins, tissues, and cells. A certain level of minerals, carbohydrates, and proteins optimizes your body’s functionality. For proper mental functioning, nutritionists recommend eating a variety of foods. 

Most online psychiatrist Michigan recommend these top three foods for a healthy mental diet:

  • Complex carbohydrates: These include brown rice and some starchy vegetables for energy. Beets, quinoa, and sweet potatoes will keep you full for longer.
  • Lean proteins: Lend energy that helps the body think and react swiftly. Sources of such proteins include fish, eggs, nuts, chicken, and seeds.
  • Fatty acids: These are crucial in helping brain and nervous system functionalities. You can get them in flaxseeds, fish, eggs, and meats.


Your mental health is significantly dependent on your diet. Stay away from smack foods for maximum concentration. To avoid inconsistencies in energy levels, avoid sugar-filled snacks.

Consume good amounts of healthy fats (available in avocado, olive oil and coconut oil) in order to support the functionality. When hunger strikes, go for healthy snacks such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs and fruits. 

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