How Does Food Have An Effect On Mental Health?

Mon, 2019-09-30

Overindulgence seems to be the most popular way for people to unwind in this era; with people stuffing themselves with food to satiate their desires, it is easy to see why obesity rates around the world have gone up. Stress eating may be a term that many are familiar with (maybe even feeling guilty of committing it), the act of overconsumption of foods to relieve stress that may have been built up during work or other issues. We could potentially pin all our blames on this hormone called “Cortisol”, this hormone can get in the way of certain body functions and has a correlation to a tendency to snack. We can draw a relationship between stress and eating but where does this stress really come from?

Stress is often thought to be relieved by different methods: meditation, enjoying hobbies and going for an exercise. These methods are definitely tried and tested, they work because they enable a healthy production of chemicals in our brains like endorphins to boost our motivation in certain aspects. By expelling stress through these methods, the side effects of unhealthy stress, like overeating, will be negated as the person will be able to function healthily. However, these methods may be seen as an active form of stress relief and there is a lack of passive destressing.

Ironically, eating may be the revolutionary new approach to tackling stress. That does not mean that stress will go away when we consume food, but by eating the right foods, the mind and body is able to react positively. When a person consumes fruits and vegetables, the compounds in the food provides the body with the essential nutrients which eventually boosts the brain functions. It is known that mental illnesses are often caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and patients are often prescribed with a drug that inhibits the production of excess chemicals. This brings the importance of how the chemicals in our brain affect the way we treat our bodies. With a nutritious diet, the brain is able to produce the right mix of chemicals which is key to boosting a person’s motivation and mood, ultimately creating a good foundation in tackling stress.

One of the important nutrients that these foods have is Antioxidants, these compounds have the capability to neutralise free radicals in a person’s body. The effects may not be apparent to the consumer at the early stages, but the improvement in the body’s health will have a significant impact on the mental state. The food that we found to be particularly rich in these antioxidants is Aronia Berries. With the highest antioxidant capabilities, these berries are able to remove the bad substances in the bloodstream to reduce the negative impacts of the food that we eat. The foods that we eat can potentially be bad for our mental and physical health, thus we should always take some precautions to protect ourselves.

The idea of how the food we eat affects our health is not new to us, but the approach to the problem should be handled in a different way. Instead of telling ourselves to kick the bad habit of stress eating, we should be looking at ways to boost our mental health. Other than meditation, the most effective method is to eat the foods that can help us do that. This may sound counterintuitive to many, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and should not be considered as medical advice.

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