Food, Mood, and the Gut-Brain Connection
There are many "pillars" to support our mental health such as exercise, getting quality sleep, and managing stress, but one of the most obvious yet under-recognised factors in the development of mental health is nutrition.
Many of us are well aware of the benefits that eating a balanced diet has on our physical health, but do you know how it benefits our mental health?
Our brains are always on, they work hard even while we sleep. They
have a huge demand for energy and consume around 25% of our energy and many of the essential nutrients that we take in from the foods that we eat.
Food and mood - what’s the link?
As a society, we are comfortable with the idea that we feed our bodies, and much less aware that we’re feeding our brains too. Parts of the foods we eat will end up being the very fabric of our brains. Brain-focused nourishment has been on the rise in the wide world of wellness. Nutritional psychiatry has invited the foods we eat to be part of the larger conversation around mental health.
Neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi, PhD
Stress and mental health - What’s the link?
Our body is well equipped to deal with a stressful situation but when stress is constant and left unmanaged it can cause disease in the body and mind.
Stress also suppresses the immune and digestive systems. Many vitamins and minerals are needed to support the body and brain during a stressful episode, particularly B vitamins. If we are constantly depleting our body of these vitamins and minerals because of unmanaged stress and we don't replace them with a nutrient-rich diet we can be left feeling physically and mentally depleted.
Sleep and mental health – What’s the link?
Research shows that sleep ranks with diet and regular exercise as an essential component of a healthy life. Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health. And those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Movement and Mental Health - What's the link?
We need exercise to keep our body and brain healthy, strengthen the heart, keep circulation going, tune up our immune function, manage weight, aid quality sleep, and boost our mood.
High-intensity exercise releases the body's feel-good chemicals called endorphins, resulting in the "runner's high" that joggers report.
But research shows that for most of us, the real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time. That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better.
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Balance my Life © 2018 - The contents on this website are based on education, opinions and experience. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional, and is not intended as medical advice. You should always follow the advice of your doctor or other medical practitioner.