The evidence for dietary links to a range of diseases is continually growing. In recent years, mental health has also been linked to food as well and it is an absolutely fascinating area. You can in fact choose foods that fuel your body and your mood.

The evidence for links between food and mood include omega, B vitamins and folate, vitamin D and a range of supplements. Other studies have looked at overall dietary patterns and found links between diet quality or how closely you follow dietary guidelines. Equally interesting, is the link between postnatal depression and diet, which my research (my Masters thesis, and upcoming scientific journal publication) has consolidated. There is some very strong evidence suggesting that postnatal depression risk can be lowered by engaging in healthy eating habits.

Some of the ways that healthy eating may affect your mood include:

Healthy diets, particularly those that are high in fibre and low in saturated fats and sugars affect your gut microbiota, those little bacteria that line your digestive system. Essentially, when we feed them a good quality diet, the look out for us. When we don’t look after them as well, the chemicals they release can change our intestinal permeability, which means that certain molecules that would normally stay inside our gut may escape and cause inflammation in the central nervous system,36.
The foods we eat contain essential nutrients which our bodies need to make neurotransmitters, the chemicals used by our brain cells to communicate. When we don’t have enough of these essential nutrients, we may produce different levels of neurotransmitters.
Healthy eating improves our physical health and, lets face it, the more physically healthy we are, the better our mental health.

So what do healthy eating habits look like?

A healthy diet looks is one you genuinely enjoy. It has plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, it includes wholegrains, lean proteins and good fats (like nuts, fish, avocado and olive oil). A healthy diet that will lift your mood doesn’t deprive you of any food groups. You are getting lots of fibre, vitamins and energy. You eat regularly. You eat to nourish your body, not to punish or reward it.

Original Article HERE

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