What You Eat Affect Your Mental Health – Nutrition and Mental Health

Have you ever given it a thought if a clear understanding of complexities, astuteness in analysis, foresightedness in vision, the ability of right and quick decision-making, and acceptance of changes and challenges are at all possible without a stable and sane mind?

Well, most of us are very ignorant about our mental health. Of the rest, many care a lot about their physical health and little about their mental health.

Practicing mediation is a great way to ensure good mental health, but it becomes more effective when you incorporate some healthy habits in your daily life, of which eating well is very much important.

Processed Foods

One of the most significant health hazards that may occur results from too much reliance on processed foods. These foods are abundant in flour and sugar, both of which cause harm your gut and overall health.

Most of the processed foods are highly addictive. They send a trigger to the dopamine centers in the brain. The region is associated with reward and pleasure; processed foods, unlike fresh fruits and vegetables, makes your brain crave more.

If you want to prepare a healthy diet for your daily intake, start with axing the processed foods from your diet chart. If you are consuming processed foods daily or too often, it won’t be easy to do without them. But when you curb refined carbs and added sugars from your diet, you change the physiology of your brain and tell it to accept the changes.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating, also referred to as Intuitive Eating, puts your brain on high alert for what and when you eat. It is a way to ensure that you are taking only well-balanced snacks and meals.

Many of us have a habit of impulsive eating. Nutritionists and dieticians recommend maintaining a food journal. Having what, when, and where you eat clearly documented helps you stay aware of your food habit pattern.

Stress and depression often cause more craving for food. In such cases, a food journal works as a great reminder that you need to suppress the urge for impulsive eating. This way, you can easily identify the foods not good for your health. If you eat less than what you should, avoid 3 larger meals and switch to 5-6 smaller meals.

Some people with severe stress and depression develop disordered eating habits. Such disorderly is not easy to deal with and usually involves overeating or under-eating. In such cases, the most logical step is to consult a professional counseling expert. Asking for help in dire situations will not be a stigma on your strength but avoiding it will surely show a lack of your power to take the right decision at the right time.

Stress and Depression

Too much consumption of processed foods, sugar and flour causes inflammation throughout your body and it might result into several and severe mood disorders. When we’re depressed and stressed, processed foods look more tempting with their pick-me-up gesture for our instant gratification.

These ready-made foods offer a happy-to-go-with choice and it’s one of the reasons why many of us are hooked to processed foods. Such carefree but careless drifting towards high-calorie and high-fat processed foods, which can never be a suitable replacement for fruits and vegetables, might cause depression or contribute to it.

People have a habit of reaching out to a cup of coffee or a pint of ice cream whenever they feel down and it puts a stop to your craving for meals at the dining table.

Psychiatrists have noticed that people with overwhelming stress and depression tend to eat more or less. Overeating does a number on your waistline, whereas undereating causes exhaustion. Once an eating pattern is set, it is not hard to change. In a nutshell, eating disorder during heavy stress and depression makes your mood disorder worse. It is a vicious circle and needs firmness in your decision and determination to collapse.

Cure and care for your mental health. Change your eating pattern by taking plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acid. Dark leafy green vegetables are good for your brain health. Seeds, nuts and legumes, such as lentils and beans, are great foods for brain. Many psychotherapists claim that a healthy diet is more effective than prescription medications for treating mood disorders.

A recent study has found people who eat the right foods experience a 40-60% reduction in their depression, a feat that most drugs can hardly achieve.

Healthy Stomach

Do you know your belly controls your brain?

Findings from the latest researches are confirming an old adage – you are what you eat. Most recently, researchers have discovered an intimate connection between the brain and the intestine. The Vagus nerve connects our guts to the brain. Two can exchange information between themselves.

The gut can influence and impact emotional behaviour in our brain while, the brain can change the kind of bacteria living in our stomach.

The American Psychological Association claims that gut bacteria produce a herd of neurochemicals that our brain uses to control physiological and mental processes. It is believed that gut bacteria produce 95 percent of our body’s requirement of serotonin that functions as a mood stabilizer. Stress and depression cause the underproduction of serotonin by suppressing the beneficial gut bacteria.

A healthy diet keeps your gut happy. Conversely, an unhealthy diet can push you towards depression and exacerbate the situation if you are already depressed. Depression grips you more when you are very much into processed foods. Flours, even whole grain flours and sugar, cause gut inflammation. Scrap your poor dietary habits and your gut will feel better.

Cutting on sugar and flour intake helps create a favorable microbiome for healthy bacteria. Fiber-rich foods, fermented products and fruits also help gut bacteria thrive.

Brain Food

Your brain and entire nervous system need a daily supply of nutrition to build new cells, tissues and proteins. Your body needs a variety of carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals to work effectively. These nutrients also ensure proper mental functioning. Placing a variety of foods in your daily diet, snacks and meals instead of sticking to mundaneness on platter will improve and ensure your physical and mental wellbeing.

To sum it up, here are some foods for mental health:

  • Complex Carbs: Brown rice, starchy vegetables, millet, beets
  • Lean Proteins: Eggs, fish, chicken, soybeans, seeds and nuts
  • Fatty Acids: Eggs, fish, meat, flaxseeds and nuts


Foods keep us alive and the right foods make sure that we live in a healthy body and happy mind. Neither our body nor our mind can tolerate the torture of unhealthy food choices for a long time and as a result, they revolt. Save your mental health from such a heavy and harmful boomerang and ensure and experience the nectar of happiness with the right choice of foods and eating practice.