Read our expose into how nutrition affects mental health, as we delve into some of the ways our eating habits impact our thought processes and overall mental health.
The World Health Organisation stated in 2017 that over 264 million people of all ages were affected by depression worldwide. This statistic came from this in-depth study on the number of years lived with disability for 354 diseases across the globe, conducted by the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD). With so many people suffering from such a debilitating condition on a global scale, why haven’t we discovered effective treatment options?
This is because many of us don’t consider how nutrition and diet have a considerable impact on our mental and cognitive operations. We know the nutritional choices we make have a consequential impact on how our organs function. We understand that unhealthy eating habits lead to the onset of chronic physical illnesses. People happily oblige when told to avoid certain foods or boost nutritional intake in order to benefit their physical health.
What about nutrition and mental health? The brain is an organ. We need to nurture it with the right dietary choices. Just like we consider the impact of eating fatty foods on our heart and liver, our brain requires certain nutrients in order to function at its best. It runs on the energy we consume from food. You’re using it right now, as you read this article. Have you fed your brain well today?
Treatment options for mental health issues in the UK are scarce. The NHS is severely underfunded. The pandemic is unfortunately exacerbating the drastic lack of services available from our doctors’ surgeries and hospitals. Over the past decade, public options for treatment of mental health issues in the UK have continued to dwindle.
Studies show that the most predominant mental health issue worldwide is clinical depression. Characterised by intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness and even suicidal thoughts, depression causes a shocking number of deaths in the UK each year. Other mental illnesses many of us can suffer from include anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Each of these mental disorders have the potential to become extremely debilitating if left untreated. There are very few mental health resources in the UK. That’s why we, alongside many others, are trying to provide the public with healthy, mood regulating alternatives.
One frequently prescribed ‘solution’ to depression is anti-depressants. Antidepressants, while they do work for some, do not actually get to the root cause of the issue that’s causing our mental health issues. They may be a short-term remedy to get your mood back up. One study found there is a 41% reduction of depression relapse when antidepressants were combined with cognitive therapy. Imagine the reduction if you were to add a new nutritional diet tailored to improve your mental health to the mix.
Due to this shocking lack of treatment options for mental illness in the UK, it’s clear that we must turn to other alternatives. Antidepressants may be necessary if you’re experiencing moderate, chronic or severe depression. Mild depression often does not require the use of antidepressants, so you can focus on other ways of improving your mood; like nutrition. Even if you take antidepressants, studies show greater improvement in mood when treatment is combined with further solutions.
Focusing on nutrition is unfortunately one of the most frequently overlooked potential solutions for improving mental health. Felice Jacka, of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, states that looking after our diet is equally as important to our mental health, as it is to our physical health. But how does nutrition and food have an impact on our mental health? Let’s look at the neuroscience side of things.
Nutritional neuroscience is a rapidly emerging endeavour that gives us actionable insights as to how we can improve our mental health with nutrition. It’s a scientific discipline that explores how the nutritional intake of vitamins, and other dietary components, can alter our cognition and behaviour, as well as neurochemistry and neurobiology. Here, we’ll explain how neuroscience works in relation to our dietary and nutritional choices.
If you are suffering from depression or other mental health issues, there are a number of healthy and nutritious meals you can put together using mood-boosting ingredients. While we don’t suggest that these will cure your mental health situation, it’s essential that you concentrate on feeding your mind as you recover. Here’s our take on a range of palatable foods to incorporate into your diet to enhance your mood:
Beans and Legumes
Fluctuations within our blood sugar levels can have a significant impact on our mood. Beans are loaded with protein and fibre, which work in combination to regulate and stabilise blood sugar levels.
The Mediterranean diet is often cited to include foods that help boost our mental health. With fresh fish easy to access, and plenty of beans and wholegrains, the Mediterranean diet is inherently healthy. Considering the aforementioned positive impact these particular foods will have on your mental health, too, it looks like we’ve identified the perfect diet to regulate our moods.
Here at Remedy Kitchen, we’re tuned in to all the ongoing buzz about nutrition, diet and mental health. As we’re constantly discovering more about how nutrition and mental health are linked, we’re able to develop tasty and nutritious recipes that actually improve your mental health.
Our Luxury Meal Prep service offers you just the solution: tasty, fresh recipes delivered straight to you. Each of our interchangeable recipes are carefully considered with mental health in mind. We figure out exactly which ingredients to incorporate into your diet for optimum mood and energy boost, while also concentrating on your long-term health.
Make your week easier with our 5-Day Taster Meal Prep dishes. Restaurant quality recipes with incorporated nutritional knowledge to heighten your mood throughout the week, this is the ideal solution if you’re looking to try our range of healthy food services.
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