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Foods That Can Improve Mental Health

Aug 17, 2007
Mental health can be attributed to many things, and one of those things is diet. This has warranted the most attention from the mental health community than perhaps any other form of therapy. Nutritional awareness and increased popularity of non-pharmaceutical solutions to health problems has led to a great deal of press and some pretty strong claims on both sides of the mental health argument.

1. Eating Patterns

It's no secret that eating habits are related to mood - people tend to eat when they are sad or depressed for example. Things like poor nutrition, a failure to eat on an appropriate schedule and other factors are common to both.

2. Low Carbohydrate Diet

Certain diets have a discernible impact on mood and mental health. The popular low carbohydrate diets that are often vaunted as a great means of promoting weight loss, for instance, may increase the risk of depression. This is because foods rich in carbohydrates tell the body to produce chemicals including tryptophan and serotonin. These substances create a sense of well being in a person and their absence can have a dramatic impact on mood. Many people who cut carbohydrates from their diets may experience depressive symptoms as a result of the shortfall in these substances. The impact of carbohydrate intake on depression remains somewhat unclear. Of course, it does serve as an example of the way our bodies interplay with food can influence our emotional state.

3. You Are What You Eat

We have all heard the old clich» that you are what you eat. As with most oft-repeated phrases, its popularity is largely based on its accuracy. What we take into our body does have a profound impact on how well it functions. Although we often tend to think of mental health problems as being divorced from the physical realm, they do originate in the body. It only makes sense to consider how various nutrients and dietary habits may affect depression and other mental health concerns.

4. Vitamins

Certain vitamins also seem to be linked with depression. The B vitamin group, in particular, is often mentioned alongside depression. This is because B vitamins are key to the functioning of our nervous systems. Vitamin B6 is one example. Research has demonstrated that those suffering from depression often have very low levels of Vitamin B6 in their systems (as well as low levels of the aforementioned seratonin). Although most citizens living in industrialized nations generally to manage sufficient dietary impact of B6, certain medications (including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy drugs) actually interfere with B6 ingestion.

5.Overhaul Your Diet

Far too many people eat out. It might shock you to actually discover how many calories are in a single hamburger these days. Eating a healthy and well-rounded diet consistent with recognized nutritional recommendations may be a good way of battling depression. A failure to restrict your diet to healthy choices may make you fat, and being fat might make you more depressed - being depressed makes you eat, and the vicious cycle continues. Break the cycle!
About the Author
For more great mental health related articles and resources check out http://123nutrition.info
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