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Top 6 Ways Food Affects Mental Health

healthy breakfast

Did you know that good mood and mental health can be highly connected with our diet? An unhealthy diet that is high in some harmful matter such as sugar and fat can lead to poor mental health. You must be wondering how our mood, diet, mental health, and emotional eating are connected. Although most people will swear that their children go through energy attacks once they feel the taste of sugar, there is almost no evidence that it can influence hyperactivity. 

Nevertheless, emotional eating is not a myth, it is all about feelings. There are numerous researches suggesting that people use food as a coping system to suffocate their feelings since eating makes them feel better, so, there lies the link. To better explain this, here are six ways in which food can actually affect your mental health. 

healthy salad

Sugar and Food Addiction 

Food is undoubtedly one of the coping mechanisms used by people to go through emotional trauma. You have probably seen this in movies, people eating enormous amounts of food after they go through a breakup or death of the beloved person, eating and mixing it all together. Well, this is not just in movies, this is a response to the emotional trauma they go through and it manifests to the urges and sudden food cravings. There is a study from 2012 showing that 81 out of 100 people that seek treatment for binge eating meet the criteria for food addiction. 

The main cause of their deep connection to food is the fact that all of these foods were high in sugar and fat. The reason for this is that people who crave foods have the inexplicable desire to eat foods that are high in sugar and fat since they trigger the very same centers as the addictive drugs do. 

Bad Diet and Depression 

Depression is a special state of mind that can go two ways. The first one is that depressed people eat too much in order to cope with their traumas and anxiety. The second way is that depressed people tend not to eat because of a lack of appetite. 

On the other hand, long-term exposure to a bad diet will increase the risk of depression and especially if the diet is high in sugars and processed food. If you experience depressive moods, the worst thing is to stay alone and eat excessively. Instead, you should socialize and support groups such as Williamsburg Therapy Group where you can share your experience and seek solutions in a healthy and productive way. You should not be embarrassed to come out with your problem, instead, you need to talk it out and try to solve it. 

Is There Sugar and Stress Connection? 

Excessive stress makes your body seek sugar since it is fuel to your body and one of the main sources of energy. This is the reason why the majority of people have an uncontrollable need to eat sugar when they are stressed out. This is why people need to understand that they need to adopt healthy behavior patterns that will help them reduce stress and cope with some future situations that may function as triggers. 

Hence, one of the best ways to deal with stress is through exercise. This is why we need to accept physical activity as one of the actual ways that will make us feel better instead of understanding it as a chore. 

Food and Schizophrenia 

Unfortunately, Schizophrenia is known as the toughest mental state that is manifested through pictures and hallucinations, a sense of someone following you, and psychomotor disorders. The point being is that people who suffer from Schizophrenia usually suffer from diabetes as well. And since an unhealthy diet is one of the main causes of diabetes, it is not surprising that there is a certain connection between an unhealthy and sugar-rich diet with Schizophrenia. 

In this line, there are also some studies that suggest that there is some metabolic connection between sugars and Schizophrenia and how people react to it. This link, however, is not particularly strong, yet there is evidence that people who suffer from this mental health issue manifest schizophrenic behaviors when eating sugars. 

avocado toast

Mental Health for Adolescents and Food

Some studies have shown that people with a good quality diet faced almost no mental health issues while poor quality diet led to poor quality mental health. It is proven that a healthy diet and mental health issues are connected and that they can go both ways. Either way, there is evidence suggesting that poor diet results in poor mental health. 

Good Diet Equals Good Health

Eating foods high in sugars to suffocate emotions and escape bad moods is called emotional eating. There is an antidote to emotional eating and it is called mindful eating. This eating refers to a slow process that will help you feel the taste of food and make you full faster. You will avoid binge eating if you are more aware of the very process; hence, this way, food will not become your enemy. 

Eating and mental health are inextricably linked, as evidenced by several indications. Binge eating and emotional eating are two examples of coping mechanisms used by people who try to improve their mood by eating. Food has a significant impact on our mental health, so make sure you eat a balanced and nutritious diet to help you cope with daily stress and hardships.

Felicia Wilson


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