We are the modern, technological advance, and super-fast generation. But in our hectic life, we often forget to make room for a proper healthy diet. We all know how much our physical health is dependent upon our eating habits, but what about mental health?
Does our eating habit our mental health too? If yes, the how much and what can we do to ensure we are not letting the food we eat affect our mental health.
We feel good after throwing down a burger and a coke, don’t we?
But does that happiness last long? Or we just eat it to fill the void created by our unending hunger? Can you imagine the effect it has on our sensitive neuro transmitter system?
We are highly dependent on addictive beverages or junk food items for the temporary dopamine release in the brain. However, eating junk food is quite common and it’s totally ok to have a bite once in a while, but it’s concerning if it starts becoming a habit you can’t get rid of.
Let’s dive in a bit deeper and see how food affects our mental health.
How food affects your mood and mental health?
Do you know how our brain is linked with our second brain? Sounds silly? But it’s not as silly as you think of it. The gastrointestinal tract (second brain) contains billions of bacteria that are responsible for the production of neurotransmitters. Thus, food is the one that establishes a link between our main brain and our so-called second brain.
From a very young age, we are told that the food we consume plays a vital role in our development, both physically and mentally. A well balanced, healthy, and nutritious diet not only makes us stay fit and healthy but also helps us to think clearly, improves our concentration power, and helps us to stay alert and focused. Having an unbalanced diet that is not rich in the right amount of nutrients might not only make you obese and unhealthy but also leads to impaired decision making, irritation, anger, fatigue, and even stress and depression.
Mediterranean diets are full of nutritions as they are rich in vegetables and healthy olive oil, evidence shows that this kind of diet protects us from anxiety and depression. Also, the nutrition that a child receives while developing inside a mother’s womb and in their early life has a significant role in the functionality of the brain later in life too.
Down below are some examples of how the food we consume affects ours as well as other’s mental health.
- Eating good food and having the correct amount of nutrition intake may result in a peaceful and undisturbed sleep which will help you to feel fresh all day long and also have good mental health.
- A perfectly balanced diet will surely help you to cure anxiety issues.
- If you are hot-headed then you must read these points on what can be the ill effects of your anger.
- If you are angry quite often then you may suffer from cardiac problems.
- Suppressing your anger may make you a cancer patient.
- Abusing a child when you are angry, alters a gene in the child’s brain and decreases their ability to deal with stress.
What are some of the dietary neurotransmitters?
We all have seen how relaxing and happy people are in movies under the Mistletoe tree.
But there is a much more scientific reason for Mistletoe making you happy rather than just cinematic effects. It is quite rich in acetylcholine, which is a natural dietary neurotransmitter. This dietary Neurotransmitter is conventionally used for the treatment of high blood pressure, intense headaches, epilepsy, hysteria, or any other neurological disorder.
So, we need not press on the fact that how important it becomes for our mental health. But where do we find it?
You don’t have to consume special or rare species of fruits and vegetables. It is already available in your kitchen stored inside aubergine, peas radish spinach your favorite citrus fruits.
Are you also a fan of the tangy or cheesy flavors? Does seafood also bring water in your mouth? And you cannot resist the temptation of mushroom and caviar?
Then you are most likely to enjoy the glutamate present in this food. Glutamate and glutamic acid are rich in essential microminerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which keeps your mood positive and body energetic all day long. If you are the one who also enjoys salami, tomato, spinach, or savory snacks, you are mostly like to consume high amounts of glutamate and glutamic acid.
Going through recent trauma? Anxiety and depression just don’t seem to leave you? Sustaining on carbs and junks?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a natural analgesic substance proven to reduce anxiety and hypertensive activity. This biocatalyst might be your aid to fight your bad days. Don’t go far looking for it! Try consuming more Lupin, spinach, peas, tomato, soya beans, and whole grains.
So here comes the “happy neurotransmitter”! You know how much Dopamine has to do with all your body movement, motivation, and reward system! The role of dopamine is quite protective and essential in reproducing organogenesis. From ion permeability to antioxidant activities, dopamine is responsible everywhere.
To tell you the best fact, it is available in the sweet and doctors’ favorite apples. Bananas plantain avocado orange spinach velvet Bean tomato all are rich sources of dopamine.
We know how hard it is to cope up with work-life, college life, personal life, and whatnot. Now, we do not have the time to sit and relax for a few hours. We certainly don’t have time to cook complicated dishes. But we have time to snack on junk foods. Soto the people out there, it isn’t about time. It’s about whether you have the will or not. Next time, the aroma of a burger lures you in, remember the innocent fruits and nuts and veggies and meat waiting for you. Mental health is beyond craving and temptations. If you succumb to these, you will lose the battle resulting in the degradation of your mental health.