Get your thoughts on vitamin for higher psychological well being
More than just what you eat, how you eat can also affect overall mental health.
More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their life. Studies have shown that people who suffer from depression are often malnourished and deficient in neurotransmitters like serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate mood, sleep, and appetite.
Serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which is lined by millions of neurons. The production of serotonin and the functions of the neurons are strongly influenced by the “good” bacteria in the gut, which can be influenced by your diet.
So what should we be eating for our mental health? Researchers have studied how different diets and eating habits can affect mental health. Studies have found that people who follow a Mediterranean diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, seafood, and unprocessed grains are 25-35% less at risk of depression than people who consume a typical Western diet of more processed foods.
Certain foods can limit optimal mental health. For example, this can occur with a normal diet, where the consumption of foods such as processed meat, candy, fried foods, high fat dairy products, and alcohol is high. For the opportunity for improved mental health, try the following nutritionist-approved tips:
- Replace with a sparkling water mocktail in place of alcohol. Try the following recipe for a refreshing drink for the summer heat.
- Reach foods that contain caffeine for increased energy levels with B vitamins. Products that you should try include dark chocolate, coffee, and tea. If you want to cut down on caffeine and still increase your energy levels, reach for moisturizing beverages with B vitamins such as coconut water or BODYARMOR sports drinks.
- Replace high-fat foods with avocados, nuts, seeds, healthier oils like olive oil or avocado oil, and mozzarella or Swiss cheese for a low-fat cheese option. Consider air frying, baking, or grilling for healthier cooking options for some of these favorite foods.
- Foods high in added sugar can affect optimal mental health. Instead, grab your favorite summer fruits, low-fat dairy products, and low-sugar ice cream or bars like frozen Greek yogurt bars.
- Do not forget to choose not only nutritious food to improve your mood, but also develop healthy eating habits – have breakfast every day, plan and prepare in advance, share meals with family, stick to a schedule .
LaCroix Mimosa Mocktail
Everything you need:
- 2 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 4 oz LaCroix sparkling water
- Orange wedge, for garnish
All you do: Mix the orange juice, grapefruit juice and sparkling water and serve in a champagne glass. Garnish with a slice of orange.
Recipe source: Hy-Vee.com.
Do you have a question for your Hy-Vee Dietitian? Contact Jenn at [email protected] or call her at 515.695.3795. Your question will be answered and can be viewed with your permission.