Malnutrition causes the highest number of deaths worldwide. It is more destructive than smoking and high blood pressure. These are the results of a major study of the health effects of nutrition. Data were collected from 195 countries from 1990 to 2017.
Every fifth death in the world happens because people do not eat healthy food. The reason is too much salt, not enough whole grains and fresh fruits. People also consume very few nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. And it is very important to realize that healthy habits influence not only our physical state but also mental health.
The brain is one of the largest organs in the human body, and its functioning, as well as the activity of the heart, liver and other organs, depends on what we eat and drink.
Most of us know what can happen to the stomach, intestines, pancreas, or liver as a result of nutritional deficiencies. But we lack knowledge about the effect of food on the brain. And it is huge. Keep reading to get to know what anxiety diet consists of and what food can help you to deal with depression.
Food and mental health: Anxiety diet
The stomach and brain are linked to each other by 260 million neurons. And many gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters and communicate with the brain through the vagus nerve. And under stress, there are negative changes in the gastrointestinal microflora.
Scientists at Columbia University in New York have said that eating right can reduce the risk of depression by 40%. Moreover, food can be one of the main ways to prevent and treat most brain diseases and mental disorders.
Food that we eat affects the work of the brain and therefore our emotional state. Our mental health greatly depends on glucose levels, amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, and so-called intellectual nutrients, such as group B vitamins. The imbalance may bring poor memory, irritability, psychosis, depression, stress, anxiety and distraction.
Food that can hurt depressed people
Depression is a common disease and can be caused by many factors, most often long-term stress that does not decrease over time. Anemia, lack of vitamins B12, C, B2, B1, folic acid, mineral imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, hypoglycemia, food allergy contribute to the development of depression.
What food is better to avoid if there is a tendency for depression?
Sugar is a tricky product. Depression, diabetes, and dementia often go hand in hand. It turns out that when the blood glucose level is raised, the brain actually works at a suboptimal level.
Excess sugar causes a significant decrease in protein production, which stimulates the growth of neurons and synapses, and depression is just one of several possible negative consequences of this. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are not the best.
Aspartame, for example, blocks the brain’s “hormone of joy” serotonin. And it leads to depression, headaches, and insomnia. Eat fresh fruit and organic candies instead of desserts and cupcakes.
Fast food. It can also trigger depression. Numerous studies agree that fast-food people are 51% more likely to suffer from depression.
Alcohol. It is a depressant that inhibits the central nervous system. Therefore, the next day after drinking, you feel even more depressed than the day before.
So alcohol is not a way out, but a trap for those who suffer from depression.
Salt. Too much salt can disrupt the nervous system, triggering a depressed mood and feeling of tiredness.
The immune system is also depressed under the influence of too much sodium, which can be a serious disease. Ironically, lack of salt can also cause dull mood, so that use pink Himala Salt for your food.
Caffeine is not a direct cause of depression, but it is worrying because it prevents you from falling asleep. Luckily, there are many coffee alternatives, such as chicory, mushroom cacao mix, and coconut latte.
If you are looking for a way to relieve depression, get rid of caffeine and set a rigorous sleep pattern.
Best food for anti-anxiety diet
Your brain will considerably benefit from healthy habits:
- it will alleviate symptoms of some mental illness;
- it will improve the effectiveness of the treatment of certain neurological and psychiatric disorders;
- it may reduce the unpleasant side effects of some medicines.
How to improve your emotional condition and get rid of anxiety with nutrition?
- Increase consumption of Omega-3 in the diet (flax seeds, pumpkin, fish, salmon).
- Add B vitamins to the diet (bread, cereals, eggs, milk, liver, leafy green vegetables).
- Increase the use of magnesium (rice, nuts, spinach, milk).
- Increase zinc consumption (beef, pork, whole grain, nuts)
- Consume more amino acid products such as tryptophan (protein-rich foods: beans, eggs, meat, fish, nuts).
- The diet should be low in glycemic index, i.e. low in sugars.
- Increase chromium consumption (tomatoes, chicken, bananas, oysters, beef liver).
- Increase the intake of vitamin D (oil, eggs, oily fish).
Please, note, this information provides a general overview of mental problems and may not be applied for everyone. Talk to your doctor to figure out if this information could be applied to you.