How Healthy Eating Can Improve Your Mental Health

Research indicates that healthy eating affects mood-related body chemicals. In one study published in Nutrients, researchers evaluated the relationship between diet and mental health in 1,956 college students. Researchers reviewed the number of depressed and anxious days that study participants experienced over a 30-day period. They also examined study participants’ fruit, vegetable, and sugars intake during that time frame.

Researchers found that food insecurity, i.e. lack of reliable access to affordable, nutritious food, and excess intake of foods high in sugar were significant predictors of anxiety and depression. Comparatively, researchers said increased access to healthy foods could help college students improve their mental health and academic performance.

In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers examined 12 epidemiological studies to find out if there was a relationship between diet quality and mental health in children and adolescents. Researchers found that there was a cross-sectional relationship between unhealthy dietary patterns and poor mental health in children and adolescents.

The aforementioned studies show that healthy eating can make a world of difference when it comes to mental health. To date, research indicates that some foods may help improve mental health, including:

Conversely, some foods may actually increase a person’s risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders, and these foods include:

Healthy eating habits are key, particularly for people who want to lower the risk of experiencing a mental health disorder. There are several things that you can do to develop and maintain healthy eating habits, including:

  • Evaluate your eating habits. Make a food diary that includes everything you eat over the course of a few days, along with how you feel when you eat.
  • Identify improvement areas. Replace processed foods with fruits, vegetables, and other healthy alternatives in your diet whenever possible.
  • Be patient. Try your best, and understand that it may take time to develop healthy eating habits that work well for you.

Achieve Concierge offers treatments to help our patients develop healthy eating habits. To learn more about our treatment options, please contact us online or call us at (619) 393-5871.

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