The price of 'bad' food

There's this old adage - you are what you eat - and it turns out that this old saying is right in more ways than you'd expect 

We all know that eating well can have a huge impact on your physical health. But now there's a growing body of evidence to prove that food also affects your mental health.

It makes sense that our bodies (and brains) need certain vitamins and minerals to be able to function well. So if you're not getting enough of the right nutrients, your mental health is going to suffer. 

But it's more complicated than that. Some of the impact of food on mental health relates to the other recent finding that gut health (specifically, the health of the microbiome) has a direct connection to emotional and cognitive health. 

What does this mean?

This is a huge discovery in medical circles. It's very early days for this research, but already, there are reported cases of people treating (or at least improving) severe neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (check out the notable story of Dr Terry Wahls here), as well as stories of people improving or resolving mental health conditions.

Imagine the possibilities if we all ate a diet that was specially designed for our bodies AND our minds to work at their best. 

On the other hand, what's the not-so-good food doing to our brains? The answer is - nothing good. And in some cases, poor food choices could be damaging your health

So what should you be eating to help your brain and your mental health?

This is where there's quite a bit of debate, but here are a few common themes:

  • Plenty of leafy green vegetables
  • Probiotic foods like sauer kraut, kimchi etc.
  • Healing bone broths
  • Eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) refined sugar intake
  • Try and focus on eating real food (rather than processed)

If you're interested in eating well for your brain (and mental health), my recommendation is to read the work of Dr Terry Wahls - she's inspiring and to spend time finding out what helps you feel good.

This is a hugely complex issue, and there is so much more research to be undertaken, but what an exciting time to live!

Take care out there guys!

 

More reading:

Feeding Minds: http://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/assets/ResourceFinder/Feeding-Minds.pdf

Healthy gut, healthy mind. 5 foods to improve mental health: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-healing/201301/healthy-gut-healthy-mind-5-foods-improve-mental-health

Food and mental health: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20150820/food-mental-health

Healthy gut, healthy brain: https://experiencelife.com/article/healthy-gut-healthy-brain/

The brain-gut connection:  http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection

Junk food and mental health: http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/news/963-junk-food-and-mental-health.html

 

Note: I'm not a doctor or medical expert, so please speak to a professional before changing your diet.