Studies have shown that a poor diet can increase our risk of depression and anxiety. The Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine looked at trials that were undertaken to discover the effects of dietary improvement on symptoms of depression and anxiety and found evidence that mood disorders and depression may be impacted by diet.
Without a nutritious, balanced diet, the body is not only prone to disease, it can also lead to fatigue, lethargy and low mood. What we eat can also determine our weight and if we find ourselves either underweight or overweight, this can in turn affect our self-worth, confidence and social interactions - thus increasing our chances of becoming anxious or depressed.
Foods that can help improve our mental wellbeing'Five-a-day' has become a much-used phrase in the modern world and encourages us to eat the correct portions of fruit and vegetables every day. But there’s also a wide range of other foods that can be beneficial to our physical and mental health.
BerriesAll types of berries are full of fibre and antioxidants that can improve our memory and reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dark chocolateAlthough it should be eaten in moderation, dark chocolate has antioxidants and stimulants that are extremely powerful and help focus our minds, raise concentration levels and lift our mood.
FishThere’s a reason why fish is known as 'brain food'; it's rich in the fatty acid omega 3, EPA and DHA, which all play an important part in our diet and are fantastic for the brain. DHA produces serotonin in the brain and can help us cope with stress but if our levels of DHA are too low, it can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory loss.
WholegrainsThese wonderful little grains are packed with complex carbohydrates that slowly release glucose into the blood, keeping the brain alert and helping us to concentrate and focus.
EggsNot only are eggs high in protein, which helps repair the tissue in our body, they contain choline and B vitamins, which are great for brain development and improving our memory.
WaterBy drinking adequate amounts of water daily, we can prevent fatigue, regulate our moods and improve our cognitive skills.
Pumpkin seedsRich in zinc, magnesium and vitamin B, pumpkin seeds are great stress busters and can also improve our memory.
When our brains and bodies are in shape, we find that we sleep better and have more energy, our overall mood is lifted and we feel more alert, so it’s vital that we try to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet that will assist both our physical health and mental wellbeing.