Can your diet play a role towards mental health? Yes, it can. A good diet that provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water is essential for enhanced mood and an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Often, the role of nutrition is under-recognized as a leading factor contributing towards mental health. If you read the WHO official mental health definition, you’ll understand that mental health is nothing but a state of well-being in which every individual realises his/her potential and can cope with the normal stresses of life.
The Mental Health Act of 1987 is described as An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the treatment and care of mentally ill persons, to make better provision with respect to their properly and affairs and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Mental Health and Your Diet
Research studies have found evidence that mental health and diet are closely linked. Food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health disorders, examples of which include depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, some experts rightly point out — it’s yet unclear if your diet affects your mental health or if it’s your mental health that affects your food choices. While a study done in Japan found out that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, potatoes, soy products, mushrooms, seaweed and fish decreases the risk of suicide, another study found that a diet rich in high-fat junk food impacts spatial memory which is linked to dementia.
Food For Mental Health
A balanced diet that is rich in mood-boosting vitamins and minerals is good for mental health.
Mental health research reveal that increased intake of folate is linked to lowered risk of depression. Vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, meat and liver are the most important dietary sources of folate.
In addition, increased coffee consumption was non-linearly associated with a decreased risk of depression. Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids are equally important for improved mental health.
If your mental health test reveals susceptibility to mental ailments, a healthy diet along with other treatment therapies can help boost recovery.
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