Did you know that what you eat can affect your mental health?
Many people know that healthy eating is important, but not many people know that specific foods (or ingredients) can be linked to poor mental health.
In 2017 a study found a link between the amount of sugar people consumed and the likelihood of having a "common mental health" disorder. The study found that mental health disorders, especially depression, were more likely to be found in participants eating the highest amounts of sugar.
In my time treating patients, this is a link I have noticed as well. I have had many patients say they noticed their mood dropped substantially after eating something with added sugar such as cookies, orange juice, pop, cake or other types of sweet treats.
Researchers have also found that people with depression have higher levels of inflammation in the brain. Their research suggests that there is also a link between high levels of inflammation in the brain and depression. Treatments that work to lower inflammation in the body, can also help to lower brain inflammation and symptoms of depression.
When working with patients, I almost always start by educating them on how diet can impact their condition. A healthy diet is absolutely foundational to a person experiencing "vibrant health".
As naturopathic doctors we know that "food is medicine"! If a patient's food is not acting as "medicine", it can be acting as the "slowest form of poison". Certain foods can lead to the worsening of symptoms on a daily basis. The body is so wonderfully made. It only needs the right environment to function well. Removing foods which function as obstacles to healing, and adding foods which actively help the body heal can make a big difference to our mental health.
Learn more about how you can eat your way to a happier, healthier life by booking a free 15 minute consultation.
Full study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-05649-7