When a person is cranky or moody, we tend to think they didn’t get enough sleep. While getting plenty of rest each night is essential, lack of proper nutrition could also affect your mood. The food you eat plays a significant role in your mental health. It affects your mood, energy, and your ability to think clearly. A balanced diet may improve each of these areas, but it helps to get some advice from a professional source when understanding your body’s dietary needs. Here are a few things to consider when reviewing your diet and how to improve it to benefit your physical and mental health.
Manage Your Emotions with a Good Diet
Understanding how food affects your mood includes doing research about which foods are right for you. It may also help to learn more about how food and mental health work hand-in-hand and how they play a role in influencing lifestyle choices. There are many aspects to eating healthy, but there are other elements that can make healthy eating work even better for you and your mental health, such as:
- Avoid skipping meals. Eating regularly helps maintain blood sugar levels. If you feel depressed, tired, or irritable, your blood sugar may be unbalanced. Limit or avoid foods high in sugar to reduce the rapid rise and fall of your blood sugar.
- Eat small meals or smaller portions to help you eat during the day, especially when your appetite is low.
- Consume foods known to help the body produce natural energy when you need an energy boost during the day. Foods like nuts and whole-grain bread may provide energy throughout the day.
- Eat a variety of fruits and veggies daily. It will allow your body to get vitamins and minerals from natural food sources to ensure physical and mental health support. Consider eating fresh or frozen fruits and veggies and explore options such as juices or smoothies.
Healthy Eating for Mental Health Includes Stomach Health
Your mood can affect how well your gut digests your food. Some people experience an upset stomach when they’re not in a good mood. If you are anxious or stressed out, your stomach may break down food faster or slower than it should. Also, it could take your stomach longer to get used to changes made to your diet. Be patient and give your tummy time to adjust. Practice techniques to calm yourself down when feeling stressed to avoid upsetting your stomach.
Additional Smart Eating Tips
Eat foods high in protein to help regulate hormones associated with your feelings and thoughts. Minimize caffeine consumption to avoid emotional and energetic highs and lows. Get to know the right fats to eat, such as omega-3, which can also help regulate your mood. If you are taking prescribed medicine, keep in mind that it could have dietary restrictions affecting the medicine’s effectiveness.
In some cases, certain medicines could also affect how your body breaks down food. Discuss any health concerns with your primary care doctor. Working with a therapist could also give insight into changing your living habits to improve your mood. You can learn more here.
Your physical health is the only thing that depends on a healthy diet. Your mental health benefits when the right foods are incorporated into a regular diet. Nutritional eating advice from experts may vary as we learn more about how food affects our bodies. It is essential to stay up to date by talking with your doctor or dietitian. Nutritional needs vary from person to person. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Keep your options open and continue learning how to keep your diet interesting and healthy.