New research has found a strong link between nutrition and mental health.
In the latest American Psychiatric Association Healthy Minds Monthly poll, two-thirds of American adults feel knowledgeable about this link, and a majority would be willing to change their diet to improve mental health.
The poll also found that younger adults were likelier to feel knowledgeable about the subject than older adults.
The team says many aspects of a healthy diet, like staying hydrated and eating nutrient-rich fresh fruits and vegetables, can help brain function.
Conversely, too much caffeine, sugar, or processed foods can make us feel off the mark.
When asked how they’ve changed their diet in the past, most adults said it was by drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Fewer had avoided processed foods, reduced alcohol consumption, or eaten more whole grains. About one in eight adults said they had not changed their diet.
The poll also found that more Americans say work, family stress, exercise, and social habits have a more significant impact on their mental health compared to their diet.
However, they are equally likely to say that their diet, family history, and genetics have a significant impact on their mental health.
It’s important that everyone realizes the impact of nutrition on mental health, and that people don’t have to order a fancy meal service or take expensive supplements to consume foods and beverages that promote mental well-being.
Simply drinking more water can make a difference.
How to eat to boost mental health
Research has shown a strong link between nutrition and mental health.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help improve brain function and overall well-being. Here are some tips for eating to boost mental health:
Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is important for brain function and helps improve mood.
Eat nutrient-rich foods: Incorporate foods that are high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and lean proteins.
Limit sugar and processed foods: Consuming too much sugar and processed foods can lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which can negatively affect mood and energy levels.
Choose healthy fats: Include healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and avocados, in your diet. These can help improve brain function and reduce inflammation.
Reduce alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can have a negative impact on mental health, so it’s important to drink in moderation or avoid alcohol altogether.
By making minor changes to your diet, you can help improve your mental health and overall well-being.
If you care about depression, please read studies about how dairy foods may influence depression risk, and old mental drugs may be a new way to treat type 2 diabetes.
For more information about mental health, please see recent studies that ultra-processed foods may make you feel depressed, and extra-virgin olive oil could reduce depression symptoms.
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