Did you know that 45% of us will experience poor mental health at some stage in our lives? Chances are that you or someone you love will be affected by depression, anxiety or one of the many other disorders. Studies are increasingly showing that the food we eat plays an important role towards good mental health.
So how do we maintain good mental health?
Great starting points for good mental health, as recommended by the experts, include:
- good nutrition
- regular exercise
- avoiding smoking
- maintaining a healthy weight
Significant research exists now between healthy eating habits and optimal mental health. We know that people with poor mental health often have an unbalanced diet, with high intakes of processed foods and low intake of fresh foods. Research is continuing to identify if diet can be directly responsible for poor mental states or if poor mental states are responsible for poor diets. There is well documented evidence for the link between a diet high in fresh foods and low in saturated fats and decreased risk of dementia and depression.
5 Top tips for good mood food
- Follow a balanced diet – everything in moderation, with a focus on fresh food.
- Reduce processed foods – these are often high in salt, sugar and/or fat which are linked to general poor health and increased disease risk.
- Enjoy oily fish 2-3 times each week – salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines are all great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids linked to brain and nervous system health.
- Regular meal intake – meals containing carbohydrate such as wholegrains, legumes and fruit provide a steady state of fuel for the brain which can help prevent mood swings caused by sugar lows and highs.
- Keep hydrated – choose water to keep dehydration away. Dehydration can make it hard to think clearly and impact on your decisions