Mental health can have its roots in a variety of conditions or imbalances in the body. These imbalances can manifest in a variety of different ways including:
- Acne or eczema
- Digestive health (IBS/IBD/Diverticulitis)
- Autoimmune conditions
- Imbalanced blood sugar
- Hormone Imbalances
PLUS – It’s difficult to feel emotionally well and balanced if you’re dealing with a chronic or persistent health challenge.
SO… you might be wondering… – how can this happen?
- Many people are on very restrictive diets, because of digestive upset. Cutting out entire food groups can make it more difficult to get all the essential nutrients your brain and body needs. Low levels of zinc, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are associated with worsening mood and decreased energy.
- Eating too many unhealthy, processed carbohydrates such as mass produced white bread and pastries can cause blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly. This can lead to low energy and irritability.
- Studies are exploring diet’s effects on gut microbiota (organisms in the intestinal tract), and their impact on overall health and mental health.
- The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress (cellular damage) and chronic inflammation and both implicated in several mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
- Family History can potentially increase the risk of developing mental or physical conditions, but we know now that nutrigenomics principles can be used to predict the susceptibility of disease and to help develop a personalized approach to wellness.
- STRESS / Trauma – many individuals lead incredibly stressful lives and/or have experienced trauma. Both can contribute to systemic inflammation, dysbiosis and nutrient deficiencies.
Can you relate to any of the above?
If so, here are some positive changes you can make to start improving your eating habits and lifestyle to support your mental health:
- Eat at regular intervals throughout the day and make sure to consume both proteins and good fats every time you eat to help balance blood sugar.
- Choose less refined sugars and eat more whole grains.
- Eat the ‘rainbow’! A variety of fruits and vegetables daily will help boost nutrient status, potentially lowering inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Drink plenty of good quality filtered water.
- Eat something fermented (with good bacteria for the microbiome) every day again helping to lower inflammation. **If you’re not used to fermented foods – go slow…:)
- Get regular exercise
- Incorporate meditation and/or mindfulness practice. There are also other therapies which include:
- EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Supportive psychotherapy
Beyond mood and general well-being, the role of diet and nutrition on mental health is very complex. However, research linking the two is growing at a rapid rate. Evidence shows that food can contribute to the development, prevention and management of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders.
Interested in learning more about how Holistic Nutrition can be of help to you – click HERE to book your
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