Nutrition plays an important role in mood and mental health.
The effect of nutrition on health is complex and involves interactions between different nutrients and health behaviors. However, we know that you have to eat well to function well. How you fuel your body directly affects the function of your brain and mood. A poor diet lacking in high-quality foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can contribute to depression and anxiety. Additionally, a diet high in sugar can impair brain functions and make mental health symptoms worse.
Among other benefits, good food can :
- Boost your energy
- Lower the risk of developing certain diseases
- Counteract the impact of stress on your body
- Affect mood-related body chemicals
Researchers have found a link between nutritional deficiencies and mental disorders.
The most common nutritional deficiencies seen in patients with depression include vitamin B-12, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources of B-12 are fish like salmon and trout and fortifies breakfast cereals. Folate is found in dark leafy vegetables, almonds, dairy and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish like salmon, catfish and trout. Other sources include ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and omega-3 fortified eggs.