How Diet Affects Mental Health

Are you aware that your diet greatly affects not just your physical but your mental health too? When your diet is well-balanced and rich in nutrients and vitamins, you are going to feel better physically and mentally. Sadly, many people aren’t aware of this fact and can’t make the connection on their own, and their health takes the toll. If you want to take good care of both your body and your mind, you should pay attention to your diet and try to balance it out. Here’s how you can do it:

Skipping meals is bad for youSkipping meals is bad for you

When people are trying to lose weight, they will sometimes decide to skip one of the meals in the day. They do this because they want to “trick” their bodies, but this cunning plan can (and often will) backfire. As tempting as it may be to do this, experts at the Mayo Clinic say that it’s a bad idea since meal skipping will actually cause you to eat much more when you do eat. Avoiding food makes your body less able to assimilate it when you do eat, and you will likely unconsciously overeat at the next meal to compensate for the lack of food.

Carbs and insulin

People who have diabetes or struggle with blood sugar levels, in general, should be careful when eating carbs. When you eat carbs, your body releases higher amounts of insulin and allows your blood sugar to be absorbed into cells. This will give you energy, and your brain will also get a dose of tryptophan amino acid. If you’re hoping to get a healthy amount of carbs into your system, you might want to reach for something other than a packet of chips. Different fruits and vegetables can be a great source of carbs, as can whole grains and pasta.

Protein is great for you

Proteins are made up of amino acids, which can cause your body to produce the so-called “reward chemical” dopamine. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, it will likely affect your mood, and you can become cranky and even angry easily. The good news is that protein-rich foods are everywhere, and you can stock up on dairy products, eggs, and different meats.

Protein is great for you You can also use protein powder such as the ones offered by ATP Science in your diet: it’s easy to make protein pancakes and shakes with your favorite ingredients. If you’re vegan, remember that peas, beans, and different grains are an excellent source of protein as well.

Sugar is bad for you

As delicious as it is (and as delicious as it can make any dish), sugar is actually really addictive, and it’s bad for your brain. It’s incredibly easy to fall into a trap and include high levels of sugar in your diet almost unknowingly, but your health will take the toll. When your diet consists of a lot of processed or refined foods, it’s very difficult to get rid of them. If you are eating a lot of refined sugars, it will mess up your body’s regulation of insulin but also make it difficult to stop any inflammation. What is more, a diet high in refined sugars can lead to mood disorders and even worsen a person’s depression.

Being hungry makes you cranky

Our brains need glucose to function properly, and they spend a lot of energy during the day, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that by the end of the day, we get extremely cranky and angry due to hunger and exhaustion. As the day wears off, so does our self-control, and we can end up “snapping” at those closest to us, which will make us feel bad later on. To prevent these things from happening, always have a healthy snack close by – a piece of fruit, a granola bar, or yogurt with some berries. These will keep you full and help you keep your mood in check too.

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While it’s true that we need food in order to live, but our relationship with food is much deeper than mere survival instinct. The food we eat is also able to give us pleasure and comfort, and it can make us feel better or worse, depending on the choices we make and the approach we take. Try to clean up your diet so that you feel healthier and have more energy during the day, and your body and mind will be grateful.

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