More and more studies are showing that what we eat has an impact on our bodies, especially the organs of the heart and brain. Mental health and diet are connected in ways we are just beginning to understand. Fortunately, it’s never too late to reverse the damage and the sooner we get started changing the unhealthy habits the better.
The American Society for Nutrition recently explained how the foods we eat directly affect our mental health. Here are a few of the research results they shared that show the connection between healthy eating and depression:
- Eating vegetables every day reduces symptoms in people diagnosed with clinical depression.
- A healthy diet can alter neurotransmitters to reduce symptoms of depression.
- Depression patients who followed the Mediterranean diet saw significant reductions in symptoms.
The Mediterranean Diet is still their favorite go to for overall nutrition and health. Check out our Mediterranean cooking class!
Diet is also critical in mental health journeys such as Alzheimer disease and dementia. The National Institute on Aging again suggests that the Mediterranean diet is a good choice for brain health. They report that this way of eating may reduce oxidative stress in the brain. It can also reduce e inflammation in general. These factors may be part of the reason that people who choose a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of dementia.
It may also be that the reduction in chronic diseases and general improvement in physical health helps to prevent dementia. Some of the evidence they shared:
- People who follow the Mediterranean diet have thicker cortical brain regions.
- A large-scale study of aging and vision found that people who followed a brain-healthy diet had higher cognitive functioning than those who did not.
- New studies show that the gut microbiome is different in people who suffer from dementia than in cognitively normal people.
If you have been touched with suicide, you know the devastation for all involved. You might not know about the connection between suicide and food choices.
There is a National 24/7 hotline at #988 for Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Network. Please call if you or someone you know has suicidal tendencies.
Suicide is real.
- 79% of all people who die by suicide are male.
- Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–14 and the 3rd leading cause of death among people aged 15-24 in the U.S.
- Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
- 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition – but research shows that 90% may have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.
There’s still so much to learn with mental health but clearly, what we eat can help. Cheers to healthy choices.
If you are interested in how to make changes in your diet and drinking habits, book a free discovery call with me and being the change you want to see.