The Food-Mood Connection: Can Diet Affect Your Mental Health ?

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Diet does not just affect your physical appearance, it affects your mental health too. Researchers have found many indirect evidences between diet and mental health, especially anxiety and depression. That’s not it. What you eat also defines the growth and functioning of your brain. This is why diet in the early ages is very important for full development of a child’s brain. Your brain might trick you into eating that unhealthy snack but it also knows how unfit it is. Here are a few ways how diet impacts mental health.

How Diet Affects Mental Health

1. Brain Development

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Duh! Why do you think walnuts are shaped like a brain? A nutritious diet is crucial for the development of the brain. Protein-rich foods build enzymes in our bodies that act as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters relay information between brain and parts of our body. This is the reason why parents make their kids eat a nutrient-rich diet.

2. Powerful Memory

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If you do not have a good memory, blame your poor diet for it. Food scientists and nutritionists have discovered that some foods are good for memory and functioning of brain. Vitamin B, selenium, zinc are some of the brain boosters that you should add to your diet if you want to have an eidetic memory like Sheldon. 

3. Focus & Concentration

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Your brain needs constant flow of energy to focus and think well. When you skip meals or diet, it depletes energy supply to your brain causing irritability and poor concentration. So, if you have a big meeting or a test coming up, make sure you attend it on a full stomach. Your brain needs all the energy to think and make decisions.

4. Healthy Gut

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A healthy gut not only means a healthy you, it also means a high-functioning brain. When you eat nutritious food that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, it synthesized vitamin B. Guess which vitamin does your brain need the most for its super cognitive abilities? The answer is vitamin B. These gut bacteria also control inflammation in your body that affect your mood and cognition. Vitamin B is available in the form of supplements that you can incorporate in your diet after a consultation from your doctor, if you think you are not getting it from the food you eat.

5. Mental Illness

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There are foods that are good for mental health. Then, there are foods which are bad. Researchers have found that a high-sugar diet can worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia in kids. Instead of consuming high-calorie diets, your focus should be on taking a high nutrient diet for your brain to function properly. Some foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi, also curb anxiety and stress in humans.

It is possible that all these supplements required by the brain for optimal functioning may not be fulfilled by a nutritious diet alone. You may have to take vitamin supplements to boost your brain to its maximum potential. In that case, ask your doctor to prescribe you supplements to add to your diet instead of taking them without medical advice. 



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