Nutrition not only nourishes our body, but it feeds our mind too. The foods we consume play a major role in how we function physically, emotionally and mentally. For example, foods that contain excess sugar and those that trigger inflammation have been linked to a high risk of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. When our body is not nutritionally balanced our emotional and mental health is unbalanced and we may struggle recovering from traumas or stresses that occur daily. Through education, effort and self-love, women can realign their priorities to include nutrition that supports their emotional and mental health.
An article published in the December issue of Healthy Living titled “22 Foods of Happiness” explores the mind body connection and lists what foods can help alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders:
Bipolar Disorder: Focus on foods rich in omega-3s.
- Canola Oil
Stress/Anxiety: Focus on: foods high in theanine, B-vitamins, herbs and tryptophan.
- Chamomile Tea
Depression: Focus on: Antioxidants, tryptophan, folate and omega 3s.
- Romaine Lettuce
- Dark Chocolate
A 2004 UK study found those with gluten intolerance that causes inflammation in the body, had an 80% increased risk for depression. Foods like wheat, barley and grains should be avoided if you suspect Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. For everyone else, limiting or avoiding soda, refined sugar, processed food, caffeine and alcohol can help ensure you’re at your optimal holistic health.
Poor nutrition and mental health are so closely intertwined it is hard to differ which came first. When we are malnourished, we are more susceptible to mental health issues, and as we suffer from the symptoms of these disorders such as lack of sleep, poor self-care and loss or increase of appetite, we exacerbate the unhealthy nutritional choices. This cycle can be hard to break, but with education, effort and self-love, women can realign their priorities to include nutrition.