What we eat matters!!
Our brain being an energy-intensive organ, consumes around 20% of body’s calories .It works hard 24/7 which means our brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That “fuel” comes from the foods we eat — and that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what we eat directly affects the structure and function of our brain and ultimately, our mood. Therefore, if our brain is deprived of good-quality nutrition, our mental health gets affected.
How the foods affects-
All its start from gastrointestinal tract, commonly known as digestive tract that produces a Neurotransmitter, Serotonin (MOOD REGULATOR) a type of chemical which regulates body functions like
- Nerve transmission & memory
- Appetite & mental function
- Wake-sleep cycle
Serotonin is made up of essential amino acid tryptophan along with vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid. The rise and fall of serotonin depends a lot on the way we feed our brain. High level of it boosts our mood, curb cravings, increase pain tolerance, sound sleep whereas, low level causes food cravings, insomnia (sleep disturbance), neuropsychotic disorders like depression, anxiety, aggressive behaviour, increased pain sensitivity, poor body temperature regulation etc.All in all, it impacts every part of our body, from emotions to motor skills.
To work efficiently our brain needs-
- More of complex carbohydrates i.e combination of fibre and starch (whole grain cereals, fruits & vegetables etc.)
- Healthy fats should be from oily fish, poultry, nuts and seeds etc.
- Ample amount of proteins from lean meats, eggs, poultry, nuts, dairy products, beans n legumes etc.
- Micro-nutrients (vitamins A, B,C,D, folic acid, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium) .
Few steps for ‘A Healthy mind, in a healthy body’
- Make slow & gradual changes
- Avoid eating alone it limits mindless eating
- Limit bad (refined) carbohydrates
- Add plenty of fruits & vegetables
- Drink plenty of water
- Eliminate processed/ packaged foods
- Control emotional (binge) eating
- Limit caffeine intake
- Avoid alcohol
- Get enough sleep
- Frequent chit-or-chat with near & dear ones
- Avoid over thinking as much as possible
- Indulge yourself in any kind of physical activity
We don’t live in bungalows, duplexes or flats. We live in our minds, yes, that’s our permanent residence. No matter how well organised we are outside, Life is good only when things are sorted there- in our mind.
For the ‘real home’ choose wisely what you eat as food plays an important role in controlling the stress level and stabilizing the mood which makes the relationship between food and mood a bit complex. However, if one is already struggling with some mental illness not to worry, along with healthy diet, proper counselling, medication and exercise can overcome even the worse situation.