Can Nutrition Affect Mental Health?

Can Nutrition Affect Mental Health?

It’s no secret that a well-rounded meal can be the best thing for your health. But the benefits of eating good don’t just affect you physically. Studies have shown that nutrition can affect mental health as well. If you are looking to improve your emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical well-being, you might want to start thinking about what you eat.

Can Nutrition Affect Mental Health?

Our experts at the office for cognitive behavioral therapy in NYC understand that health and nutrition are intricately linked. Let’s take a look at the ways in which nutrition can affect mental health and the steps you can take to improve your emotional state of mind for a happier future.

Diet and Mental Health: The Relationship

There is a very complex relationship that exists between diet and mental health. That relationship is important to understand so you can assess the way your lifestyle is affecting you emotionally. Foods contain chemicals, just like drugs and medicines do, which can alter the way our brain works.

Certain foods contain ingredients that can help manage and balance the chemicals in our brain that directly affect emotions, mood, and cognitive abilities. Other foods might have harmful ingredients that can cause an imbalance of these same chemicals, making the symptoms of mental health more severe.

Chronic Inflammation

Certain unhealthy foods can also cause your body to be consistently inflamed, something that may go undetected for years while it slowly hinders your cardiovascular and digestive systems. Not only can it wreak physical havoc on your body, but it can also increase depression and anxiety. This is known as “low-grade inflammation” responsible for common medical conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The Good Foods – and the Bad

If food has such a big effect on mental health, what exactly should we eat? There are certain good foods and bad foods to look out for the next time you invest in some meal planning. Because mental health isn’t just about the health of the brain – it’s about the entire body. If something is wrong with the gut, your whole system can get inflamed.

Some of the best foods for mental health include:

  • Fish
  • Herbs
  • Seafood
  • Garlic
  • Lean meat
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil

Some of the foods we should be avoiding when dealing with mental health problems include:

  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Fried foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Processed sugars

Most types of fried junk food contain chemicals that might temporarily alter our mood or give us a boost of energy, but ultimately create a deficiency that makes us crash and feel even worse than before. This is what happens when both the physical and mental parts of the body are unhealthy.

Improving Mental Health with a Rounded Diet

You can keep a good check on your mental health by investing in a good diet. Your nutrition has a lot to do with making your body feel good – but it isn’t the only thing. You can also work on staying physically active, getting good sleep, and investing in a daily hygiene routine to make you feel healthier and happier each day.

Stay On Top of Your Needs with Cognitive Therapy

On top of nutritional counseling in NYC, our experts offer cognitive therapy sessions that can help you reframe your depressed or anxious thoughts while learning productive coping mechanisms to keep you building up your mental health. It is easy to stop taking care of our bodies when we don’t feel very good about ourselves, but a lot of what we do on the outside can affect how we are on the inside. Take control of your mental and physical health today when you get in touch with our pros at Cognitive Therapy NYC!