April 15, 2024

How does your diet impact mental health?

Published May 20, 2023, 3:20 p.m. by Monica Louis

Your diet has a direct impact on your mental health. Eating nutritious foods helps your brain function at its best and can help improve mood, memory and focus. Conversely, a diet high in processed foods and sugar can lead to brain fog, irritability and mood swings.

The link between diet and mental health is well-established. Numerous studies have shown that what you eat directly impacts your mood and cognitive function. For example, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to improve mood, while a diet high in sugar has been linked to increased anxiety and depression.

While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for mental health, there are certain nutrients that are particularly important for brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are essential for cognitive function and mood regulation. Other nutrients that are important for mental health include vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium and iron.

Eating a nutritious diet is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. By getting the right nutrients, you can help improve your mood, memory and focus. So, if you’re looking to boost your mental health, start with your diet.

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ah in our morning rounds the emerging

science on how food affects your mood

government figures show more than 16

million American adults report having a

major episode of depression in the past

year women are affected more often than

men a new field of study nutritional

psychiatry looks at how diet can improve

mental health it could help patients

shift from pharmaceuticals to food based

therapies our dr. taryn Narula

is here good morning good morning Nora I

could talk about this forever I'm so

fascinated by this subject so just

broadly speaking what is nutritional

psychiatry well it's the idea that maybe

a psychiatrist should be asking you what

was on your dinner plate last night what

did you eat for lunch the idea that food

plays an essential role in our mental

health in the same way that we think

about it playing a role in

cardiovascular disease in our blood

sugar management in our gastrointestinal

health Jon LaPook just did Sunday

morning we talked about its effects on

cancer so it's it's something that we

don't often think about but there has

been recent research in this emerging

field in the last five years that shows

that healthier dietary patterns can

reduce the risk of things like

depression and anxiety what's the

connection so the brain is a highly

metabolic organ it uses a lot of energy

a lot of nutrients it's always on and it

depends on fuel but not just any fuel

like a car you want to give it expensive

high quality fuel that means foods that

have the right nutrients the right

vitamins the right sources of protein

because these form the building blocks

for the neurotransmitters in the brain

for the cellular structure of the brain

for the enzymes in the brain well I know

as a cheeseburger always puts me in a

really good mood and I know I know

you're not talking about that kind of

food important no we're so when you talk

about healthy kind of food other than

the usual the greens and the legumes and

avocados what what are like those two

what are the unexpected things that

people might not think about than you

think you should yeah it's a mood

booster that's a well there's there are

healthy dietary patterns for instance

the Mediterranean diet that's been

staying and shown to reduce risk of

depression but there's also specific

nutrients and vitamins things like the B

vitamins omega-3 is iron zinc folate

magnesium choline these are some other

things that

can think about probiotics prebiotics

and the idea is that when you eat these

foods essentially many of them can

become the basis for the brain chemicals

the neurotransmitters so serotonin for

instance one of the main

neurotransmitters in the brain 90% of it

is produced in the gastrointestinal


in addition the fruits and vegetables

that you eat give you antioxidants these

can be anti-inflammatory it can boost

your immune system when you get the

right vitamins so there's a lot of ways

or potential pathways that these and

there's a lot of connection to as you're

just getting to I can tell it's the

microbiome bacteria how gut bacteria is

and one of the you know I trainee yogurt

every morning what are the other things

that help your gut bacteria so rou vit

fermented foods so sauerkraut kimchi

probiotics prebiotics things like

Brussels sprouts onions garlic these

things can essentially boost your body's

own natural bacteria but yes the gut

bacteria they work as a defense layer

preventing the flow of bad toxins across

that layer that can potentially get into

the bottom B Pro blood and be

pro-inflammatory they also work to help

the communication in the neurons between

the gut and the brain so practice that's

real quick is there somebody out there

now a doctor if you gave them your diet

they could look at everything that's in

there there are nutritional

psychiatrists yes yeah Wow yes okay you

lost me at sauerkraut but I came back

brussel sprouts

you can thank you dr. Tara and you can

put avocado on a cheeseburger yes you

can yeah it's good see the chef Jeff


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