In recent times, our emotional health has been put to the test. There are so many challenges that we often feel some symptoms of stress, anxiety and even depression. And that certainly compromises our quality of life.
On the other hand, various habits, customs and activities can positively influence emotional health, such as therapy, physical exercise that we enjoy and a healthy and balanced diet. all these are forms of self-care.
When we specifically talk about the influence of food on our mental health, we know that it happens in many ways.
One of them is through specific nutrientssuch as B vitamins and tryptophan, which participate in the formation of some neurotransmitters.
Food antioxidants, in turn, help to neutralize free radicals formed by the high metabolic activity of our brain – these molecules are unstable and associated with various problems.
Fibers, on the other hand, contribute to the proper functioning of the intestine, and, in this way, to the production of neurotransmitters (that’s right: many of them originate in our intestines).
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We cannot forget about anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as omega-3, which help to reduce inflammation, which is very common in mental disorders.
It must be remembered, however, that we don’t feed on nutrients, but on food.
Therefore, it is worth thinking about standards balanced food that includes all food groups: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids (fats), vitamins and minerals. They deliver all the important elements to avoid diseaseincluding mental ones.
There are some more specific diets which are studied for having strong links with the prevention and treatment of diseases linked to the brain.
The diet mediterraneanfor example, adds many important nutrients for mental health, and studies have already shown that adherence to this pattern is capable of reducing depressive symptoms.
This diet is based on fresh and natural foods, including fish and seafood, milk and dairy products, olive oil, vegetables and whole grains.
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Water and teas are the drinks most indicated as sources of hydration, but in the Mediterranean pattern there is also a lot of talk about the consumption of red wine.
It is that it concentrates a compound called resveratrol, which has advantages for mental health. Here, it is worth noting that the indication is a glass a day.
On the other hand, the consumption of red meat and industrialized products is reduced in this style of eating.
Another well-studied diet is dashwhich is the acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It was originally designed to help control blood pressure.
It consists of a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, plant proteins, low-fat dairy products, etc. Some items, such as red meat and sweets, are avoided. Studies show that this style of menu is linked to improving mood.
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We still have the diet mind – Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delaywhich associates Mediterranean with Dash, bringing the benefits of both.
This version guides the preference for whole grains, vegetables, legumes, chestnuts, nuts, almonds, poultry, fish, in addition to red and purple fruits.
There is also indication of low consumption of some ingredients, such as butter, fried foods and fast food. Research has already concluded that greater adherence to the Mind Diet provides a lower risk of depression.
As you can see, to take care of the mind every day is fundamental keep an eye on food. And remember to cultivate other healthy habits, such as sleeping well, exercising, and engaging in leisure and relaxation activities. Health as a whole thanks you.