Food is known to influence your mind and the way you think and function, but should eating be used as a tool to change your mental health? This article will discuss some of the pros and cons of this and some advice on how it can be done properly so you can see optimal changes in your health and wellbeing.
What Food Should You Eat?
Everyone knows that a healthy and balanced diet can do wonders on the way you feel, especially regarding your mood and energy levels.
Unfortunately, people don’t always make the best choices when it comes to what they eat, and so they aren’t able to function at their best, which will be discussed later on in this article.
If you’re looking to improve your mental health from food, you will need to make a conscious effort and create necessary changes to your diet, especially cutting out junk food.
Positive changes often mean eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean meat sources, such as salmon and poultry, rather than red meat. You can even combine a lot of these ingredients to make healthy and interesting dishes.
These types of food groups will give you adequate vitamins, minerals, complex carbs, and healthy fats that are not only important for your brain but your digestive system as well. In fact, there is a close association between your gut and your mental health, so it’s ideal to have these working in harmony.
Overall, making wholesome dietary choices will give you the energy to go about your day, and this can translate to more life satisfaction and increased self-esteem.
When Should Food Be Avoided?
Although food can be an amazing way to start feeling better, it is possible to use food in the “wrong” way and it can become problematic.
Food is sometimes used as a person’s coping mechanism, and they will use it when they are feeling stressed and anxious, and most of the time, it will be calorically dense junk food, which tastes good, is convenient, and provides pleasure to the brain. They are also known as “comfort foods” for this reason.
There are a couple of issues with eating these kinds of foods. The first one is that the energy that a person receives from these foods is very short-lived. It will be noticeable at first, but it will come crashing down, leading the person to feel moody, sluggish, and craving more.
Secondly, because these cravings for poor quality food can create weight gain and blood sugar levels, it can cause a cornucopia of physical health problems. Still, it can also negatively affect a person’s self-esteem, which is the opposite of the goal.
Lastly, and most importantly, stress-eating is a maladaptive behavior that doesn’t address the core issues of what is causing a person to depend on food to feel better. It simply masks it.
Healthy coping skills must replace comfort eating. Learning how to stop typically involves reaching out to a counselor or therapist who can help you develop the skills that you need to deal with issues like stress, anxiety, and depression.
While food should never be used to solve your problems, it can still be an important part of any mental health regimen. By making the right dietary choices, you can quickly notice positive changes in the way you feel each day. Hopefully, this article has shown you how you can transition into creating healthier routines for yourself.