Healthy Diet And Mental Illness

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With so many things to worry about, it is understandable that eating healthy is usually not a top priority. People do not realize how much a poor diet can affect their mental health. Millions of people across the globe fall victims to mental illness and often wonder why or how. Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can arise due to poor eating habits. Foods high in calories and low in nutrients, such as extremely sugary or salty foods, are the biggest factor in an unhealthy diet. Although healthy eating habits do not cure the mental illness, it can often increase people to feel better. It is important to realize what is being put into our bodies and what we can do to better ourselves. Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for not …show more content…
Diets range from very nutritious to very processed. A handful of diets seen across the world are the: “Western Diet” (heavy with processed and fast food), “Traditional Diet” (meat and vegetables), “Mediterranean Diet” (rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish and nuts) and “Japanese Diet” (fish, tofu and rice) (Gregoire). Clearly, some diets are more nutritious than others. A nutrient-rich diet consists of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Making sure to have the proper amount of fruits and vegetables daily is an easy way to get the nutrients your body needs to function properly. A typical American diet is categorized as a “Western Diet”. Americans tend to consume foods that are high in sugar, salt and carbohydrates. Usually, this type of diet is dense in calories and lacks nutrients that contributes to mental health (Gregoire). People often use the excuse that they are too busy or do not have time to eat breakfast. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can result in low blood sugar which can lead to mood swings or low energy. Making sure to have at least three meals a day and spacing them out is important to allow your body to function throughout the day (Harbottle). Changing your diet is not a simple change, it is a lifestyle …show more content…
What exactly is the link between mental illness and food? Often, people do not realize the key nutrients they are missing out on when choosing chips over yogurt. Dietary choices can alter well-being and behavior. Eating Omega 3 fatty acid (found in fish) can help improve feelings of depression (Moser). Protein rich foods increase a person’s alertness and allow them to feel fuller longer. Consuming healthy fats found in avocado and peanut butter help control many brain processes (Harbottle). Deficiencies can have a serious impact on a person’s short and long term life. Thiamine, found in beef and milk, maintains one’s energy levels and having low levels can cause a person to feel weak, irritable and depressed. Folate, found in green vegetables and legumes, allows nerves to function properly and not consuming enough can result in fatigue, poor concentration and not sleeping properly (Harbottle). It is proven that those who eat high amounts of fresh fruit and leafy green vegetables have a better mental health than those that do not (Moser). A “poor diet” usually includes a high amount of carbohydrates and not enough fruits and vegetables. Eating like this everyday, for all meals can cause massive headaches, depression and extremely low energy levels (Harbottle). Living a healthier lifestyle can lead to less anxiety and depression for those suffering. A study showed that when a woman stopped eating gluten for a

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