Healthy Eating for Better Mental Health.

Traditionally when we think of diet and nutrition, we think of physical health.

But it turns out that diet is just as important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. More and more, psychiatrists are trained to ask patients about their diet.

So, how should you eat to ensure better mental health? Below are some tips from Mental Health America.

  1. First, make sure you get plenty of water. About 8 glasses of water a day helps prevent dehydration. Even mild dehydration can result in fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes.
  1. If you have an anxiety disorder or are prone to panic attacks, avoid caffeine, as excess caffeine can trigger panic attacks. If you feel like you need caffeine, try having a cup of tea instead of coffee.
  2. Diets that consist primarily of high-fat dairy and fried, refined, and sugary foods are found to significantly increase the risk of depression. On the other hand, diets that consist primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and unsaturated fats can decrease the risk of depression by up to 30%.
  3. People with Vitamin D deficiency also have higher rates of depression. While most foods do not naturally have Vitamin D, some foods, such as orange juice and breakfast cereals, have Vitamin D added. Taking Vitamin D supplements and getting enough sun exposure can also help ensure that you are getting ample Vitamin D.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in walnuts, flax, olive oil, fresh basil, and dark green leafy vegetables, may also be helpful in the treatment of depression and can help children with ADHD.
  5. Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast, as this can lead to fatigue and “brain fog.” If you are in a rush in the morning, take something to go, such as a whole grain granola bar, yogurt, and a piece of fruit. This will give you the energy you need to jump-start your day.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues and are seeking psychotherapy or counseling services, contact South Denver Psychotherapy today.

Source: Mental Health America. Healthy Diet: Eating with Mental Health in Mind.