How Nutrition Affects Mental Health

A healthy body always promotes one’s peace of mind; and hence a healthy brain. One needs not worry about medication or increased risk of ailments. However, to maintain the health of your body and that of your family, you need to adapt healthy living, through consumption of healthy foods. The nutrients acquired from the foods we eat, build the body and enhance your immunity against diseases as well. The brain and all its activities, proper functioning, result from one’s nutrition as well. Whatever you eat, has a significant influence on your mental activity.

Nutritional importance of the brain

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are essential in providing energy to the brain cells. They, therefore, facilitating proper functioning and coordination of all activities. The communication of the brain and other body organs through the nerves is enhanced, this is because they have the required energy to transmit nerve impulses. Foods rich in carbohydrates include; cereals, whole grain, rice, and potatoes.

Fats

The nerves cells in the brain arise from flexible fats. The nerves play a vital role in the human body, as they are communication pathways. Nutrients rich in fats are hence essential to replenish the brain cells and ensure coordinated brain activities. Sources of healthy fats include; oily fish, avocado, nuts, oils from vegetables and vitamin and minerals; they help in the conversion of amino acids and fatty acids

Proteins

They are the major body building and repair materials in the body and the brain as well. Messengers in the brain, are formed from the amino acids which originate from of the proteins. In as far as the body produces its amino acids, it requires some from the food as well, and hence consumption of protein rich foods is essential for the brain. They are; milk and cheese, eggs, meat, fish, lentils and pulses among others.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetable contain a lot of nutrients that the body, as well as the brain needs. Consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces chances of contacting most chronic diseases that adversely affect your mental activities as well. They are also rich in minerals that are vital for a healthy brain.

Water

Water is vital for all body activities and systems. Taking as much water as possible, on average eight glasses, a day will facilitate proper health and adequate functioning of all body systems, the mental activities not an exception.

Effects of nutrients deprivation on the brain

Dehydration

Arises from deprived, or reduced water intake. Slight dehydration will result in fatigue, affect your concentration, due to the slowed mental activities and body coordination and also affects your mood. The effects of dehydration cause adverse outcome in whatever activity you were undertaking resulting in poor after effects.

Depression

Depression causes a lot of distress and impairs most brain activities. It affects concentration hence affects your learning, participation in sports and all outdoor activities as well as interaction with others. Severe cases of depression can prompt suicide. Depression can directly result from nutrient deficiency, or indirectly through ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, to mention a few, that trigger depression, and subsequently, affect mental activities.

Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is common to many young boys, and it’s a behavioral disorder. It not only affects the boys but also affects their parents as well; parents tend to worry a lot about their kids and hence the disease will affect the mental activity of almost everyone in the family. ADHD mostly results from lower fatty acids and iron deficiency. It is, therefore, necessary to incorporate this in each diet and improve everyone’s mental health.

Alzheimer

As one age, many ailments catch up with them; however, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help minimize some of this ailments, an example being Alzheimer’s, it impairs memory making it hard to concentrate and take part in most activities one may want to take part in as they grow old.

Schizophrenia

Diets rich in sugars, most commonly refined sugars and saturated fats, have an adverse effect, on the mental activity. Schizophrenia is a neurological condition that results from this, it makes one lose touch with reality, and hence whatever they do may either harm them or others in the process. The tendency to hurt themselves and others makes isolation for treatment or minimal contact with people necessary.

Ways to enhance mental activities

Healthy breakfast

The brain requires, proper ‘fuel’ for an adequate running of all events. After the long night sleep without eating, it is necessary to re-energize by taking a good breakfast to facilitate the mental activities as you get into the events of the day. There is no limit to whatever you opt to take, however, avoiding caffeine can be a good idea. Caffeine is proven to trigger panic attacks more so in people with panic disorders. Is you can’t avoid caffeine, then opt for tea; it has lower levels of caffeine as in comparison to coffee.

Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have nutrients required for proper functioning of the body and the brain as well. In as far as one can substitute nutrients, it’s advisable to consume, fruits and vegetables alongside other supplements.

Cutting out unhealthy food

Consumption of whole grain, nuts, and unsaturated sugars is also healthy as opposed to the consumption of high-fat dairy, refined sugary foods, and fried foods. Most sugary and refined foods result in bloating, this affects your moods, and subsequently, your entire mental health, interaction, and concentration become involving as a result.

Minimize cholesterol intake

Cholesterol results in health disorders such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In as much as they are not directly related to the brain, they affect mental activities through frequent worries on acquiring medication, cutting down unhealthy food intake you are used to among others, this will eventually cause depression, which directly affects mental functioning.

Water intake

Always take a lot of water. Being hydrated facilitates proper body and mental functions. Water is essential for all body activities

The food we eat affects all our mental activities. It can either slow it down, lower its efficiency or facilitate and heighten mental activity. The brain, being the coordinator of all activities, needs to be healthy always; other body ailments or conditions may affect the brain functioning as well. Good news is, through proper nutrition, you not only improve mental activities but enhance the health of the brain as well. Nutrients help counter almost all ailments, hence promote proper working of the mind with no interference. Strive for healthy living and better health

Reply