Diet and mental well-being have been linked together several times. Most of the times, we witness it ourselves. For instance, drinking fresh juices leaves us refreshed and energetic. Different foods may affect your mood differently though.
Usually, sugar is held as the most prominent culprit in this case. For instance, eating it can leave you feeling better instantly. However, only after a little time, the sugar intake can make you feel way more bad than what you were experiencing before having a sugary delight.
On top of all of this, research also indicates that mental wellness and your diet are closely associated. Studies conclude that the intake of probiotics reduces anxiety. Similarly, there is also a link between depression and dietary patterns.
There is also an indication that there is higher prevalence of ADHD symptoms among children who consume high quantities of fast food, sugar, and soft drinks. Recent reports have more to add to the table though.
The study concluded that diet affects a woman’s mental health and mood more than a man’s. The research, based on 563 participants, aimed to investigate the link between nutritional deficiencies and mental health.
It found that women tend to need a healthy lifestyle and well-balanced diet and to maintain mental wellness. The study learned that men show larger brain volumes in the brain regions that control emotion. On the flip side, women have denser brain connectivity.
These brain connections are more sensitive to daily variations in diet. Consequently, women experience a greater impact of diet on their mental well-being. Lina Begdache, Ph.D. and author of this study explains, “Brain volume takes a longer period of time to change, which explains why partially healthy diets did not associate with negative mood in men.”
Therefore, it is clear that women need to be more careful about their diets as the food that they eat significantly impacts their mood and mental health.
Moving forward – what should you do?
Women need to pay more attention to the foods and nutrients that they consume. A key pillar here is moderation. Excess and under-eating of anything can prove to be harmful. Therefore, it is essential that all ladies eat different food items in moderation.
Besides, the study author also reveals that women should focus on adding some crucial nutrients in their diet. These include B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, and selenium.
Each of these is available for varying food sources such as:
- B-vitamins: You can get this class of vitamins from green leafy vegetables, meat, eggs, seafood, whole grains, and legumes
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Food items that are rich in omega-3s include nuts, seeds, algae oil, and cold water fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna, and more
- Tryptophan: You get your supply of tryptophan from beef, eggs, turkey, and dark leafy greens
- Selenium: Food enriched with this mineral are cod, poultry, and Brazil nuts
Vitamin D is also crucial for women as it plays a critical role in calcium absorption in bones. Women are more susceptible of getting osteoporosis, a bone disease that is characterized by weak, porous bones.
Thus, it is essential for women to take measures to increase their vitamin D intake. In addition to having vitamin D enriched foods, you should concentrate on spending time outdoors as sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D.
Lastly, increased physical activity is also an important factor when it comes to a healthy lifestyle and mental wellness. Regular exercise can also improve your mood and enhance your mental health.
In a nutshell, the bottom line is to pay attention to the food and nutrients that you eat because they play a substantial role on your mental health.