Healthy Diet to Keep You Mentally Healthy

A healthy and balanced diet does not only affect your physical health, but your mental health as well. Supplying your brain with the right nutrients at right amounts will keep it functional. Eating the right foods can also help in preventing mental disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression.

The foods you must eat must not contain high amounts of sugar. Foods high in sugar tend to be absorbed more rapidly in the bloodstream, causing a sudden surge of overexcitement and restlessness. This feeling immediately wears off, as the body produces more insulin to compensate for the high levels of sugar in the body. Therefore, eating sugary foods cause mood swings which are unhealthy for the brain. Aside from causing mood swings, sugary foods are also high in calories, which is not good for the body. So instead of sugary foods, try other sources of carbohydrates, such as rice, bread, cereals, pasta, and potatoes, which contains sugars or carbohydrates that are absorbed more slowly.

A diet with adequate protein can give you substantial amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid essential for the brain. According to studies, tryptophan can affect the mood of a person. It was shown that it can improve the mental condition of people with depression. Good sources of tryptophan include red meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, and beans.

Omega-3, a fatty acid good for the heart, is also found to be helpful in reducing symptoms of depression. The amount of omega-3 must be balanced with the amounts of omega-6 fatty acid consumed. This can be obtained from fresh fish. Canned fish can also provide right amounts of omega-3 and omega-6, but make sure that you only eat fish in tomato sauce or brine and not in sunflower oil, because the latter contains high amounts of omega-6.

Lastly, keep yourself hydrated with enough fluids. Dehydration has been found to cause changes in the behavior and feelings of a person. The best source of fluid is water, but you can also drink other beverages, such as fruit juice and teas. You can also drink coffee, but do not consume too much. Excessive caffeine may cause symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleeping problems. Avoid soft drinks because these contain high sugar content. Another drink to avoid is alcohol, because it can cause depression if taken in high amounts. It can also deplete reserves of thiamin and zinc during metabolism, which causes aggressive behavior, depressed mood, and irritability. Alcohol intake must not exceed once a week if you want to maintain your mental health.

Maintaining a healthy diet is very important for the brain. Aside from eating the right kinds of food, you must also maintain good habits when it comes to eating. Vary the food you take so that you can get all the nutrients essential for the brain. In addition, do not eat too much or too less. The amount of food you eat can affect your mood. Weight loss or weight gain can also cause bad mood. Therefore, you must maintain a healthy weight.