Nutrition and its direct effect on mental health

It’s 9:00am you’re late for work, you’re stuck in traffic, thinking about the long day ahead of you, while you sip on your second cup of coffee for the day, your “breakfast” was just that and a donut or a muffin depending on preference.

You finally get to your workplace and start going through all your tasks, you’re drowning in paperwork, so you decide you don’t have time for a lunch break. You head to the cafeteria and grab the quickest thing to munch down and carry on with your busy day.

7pm you’re finally free, but by this time of day you’re so exhausted you don’t want to cook so you turn to a fast food joint for your “night fix” and head home. This could very well be the “life portrait” of the average working American.

No wonder why mental illnesses have been on the rise the past few years and are expected to increase in the years to come.

But how does our diet relate directly to our mental health? Well recent research has named the stomach as the second brain.

Take serotonin for example. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain.

Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions.

“Studies have shown that when people take probiotics (supplements containing the good bacteria), their anxiety levels, perception of stress, and mental outlook improve, compared with people who did not take probiotics.”

Chart taken from Mental Health America

What does this mean for you? If you’re not into the health trend of juicing, or pay any attention to what you feed your body, you better start thinking twice before you start loading your precious temple with all that sugar.

If you’ve been afflicted with gastritis, colitis and all the other terrible itis, you should start a food journal so you can keep track of what you ate during the day and how it made you feel, not only physically but also emotionally.

Sugar for example, will give you a rush immediately but 2 or 3 hours from consumption and you’ll start feeling drained and moody, that’s caused by spikes in your blood sugar.

If you want to educate yourself more on the subject, we’ll share some useful and informative links.

Talk about food for thought!