Did you know there is a huge link between your diet and mental health?
Individuals with serious mental health disorders are more likely to have a significantly increased risk of CVD, diabetes and even some cancers. There are certain nutrients that research suggests may be beneficial to mood and although nutrition is not a replacement for other forms of mental health support, it can be really helpful.
A healthy gut is crucial for a healthy brain (my favourite topic-check out our gut health blog to find out more).
Long story short the diverse types of fibre ingested with plant food are used by the gut bacteria to produce short chain fatty acids which play a significant role in regulating inflammation.
Why is this important?
Diets with a lower dietary inflammatory index score reduced the risk of developing depression. A study found that 30% of the participants, who all had diagnosed depression at the start of the trial, went into remission, meaning they were no longer considered depressed!
Carbs make you HAPPY
Did you know the brain uses 20% of all energy needed by the body?! Not having enough glucose in the blood makes us feel tired, moody, lethargic and we get a bit of a foggy brain. This may happen when we don’t eat enough carbohydrate containing food! It can also happen with people following very restrictive diets (stop doing fad diets!). Healthier sources of carbohydrates include:
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Wholemeal bread, pasta and rice
Let's talk science
The hippocampus in our brain is the key to learning, memory and mental health and neurons can be added or taken from it throughout life. There is a huge link between the quality of someones diet and the size of their hippocampus. Small hippocampus volume = poor diet quality.
Are you taking any supplements?
B vitamins are so important for brain health and in fact, a deficiency in them can cause nerve damage and mimic the symptoms of dementia. Because B vitamins are predominantly found in animal products, it is really crucial that vegans take a good quality B complex supplement to ensure they are not missing out!