Home Health Tips Mental Health Tips: Know How Good Nutrition Can Help – NDTV

Mental Health Tips: Know How Good Nutrition Can Help – NDTV

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Omega-3 fatty acids are gradually emerging as a promising remedy for depression

Highlights

  • Your diet can help in improving mental health
  • Eat at regular intervals and feed yourself with nourishing foods
  • Try eating small, frequent meals throughout the day

Have you ever heard the phrase food for the mood? Well, it turns out that the food you consume definitely holds the power to affect your mood either in a good way or bad. But, let’s just focus on how eating healthy can positively affect your mental health. Here are some of the most common ways in which your food can affect your mood and how can you balance it out.

Mental health and nutrition: Here’s how it works

1. The feel-good factor

Ever experienced the signs of being hangry? It’s a term for feeling hungry and angry or irritable at the same time. When you stay hungry for long, your blood sugar levels drop causing a feeling of irritability and of course hunger. It can directly affect your mood too. The solution? Eat at regular intervals and feed yourself with healthy and nourishing foods.

Also read: “Hone A Skill, Do What You Love”: Deepika Shares Tips To Safeguard Your Mental Health During COVID-19

2. The mood boosters

Omega-3 fatty acids are gradually emerging as a promising remedy for depression and mood-related disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a well-functioning nervous system. These fatty acids are readily found in food sources like fatty fishes (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), walnuts, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds.

3. Happy hormones

Serotonin is a happy neurotransmitter that is secreted in your brain and it mediates the feeling of happiness, satisfaction, and optimism. In fact, it is a part of some anti-depressant medicines as well. Eating foods that boost serotonin levels is one sure way to click happy feelings. Make sure to include happy foods like – yogurt, almond, banana, and eggs.

Also read: Losing Out On Sleep Amidst Lockdown? Milk, Eggs And Bajra Can Help

4. The iron factor

Iron deficiency can lead to a host of problems in the body including anaemia, mood disorders, irritability, and depression. It can also decrease your cognitive abilities and reduce concentration levels. On the other hand, optimum iron levels are necessary to feel energetic, focused, and keep you in a good mood. Make sure to include iron-rich foods in your diet like whole grains, dates, nuts, seeds, spinach, and lentils.

5. Happy gut

Ninety percent of the happiness neurotransmitter- serotonin is secreted in the gut with the help of gut-friendly bacteria. So, it is important to keep your gut in good health and shape. Disruption in gut serotonin can lead to mood disorders or some other serious ailments. The best way is by keeping your gut steer clear from constipation, bloating, acidity, or diarrhoea. Include loads of good fibre in the diet in the form of fruits and vegetables. Probiotic foods like curd, poha, kefir, and kombucha are helpful too.

Also read: Gut Health- 5 Tips To Improve Gut Health And Absorption Of Nutrients From Food

6. Bonding over a meal

It’s not just the food you eat, but the way you eat matters too. Sharing food with your loved ones and bonding over meals is linked with boosting oxytocin hormone which reduces anxiety, fear and leads to a feeling of being cared for and loved.

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Sharing food with your loved ones and bonding over meals is linked with boosting oxytocin hormone
Photo Credit: iStock

Here are some quick and easy tips to regulate a happy mood with your food choices

  • Don’t skip your breakfast
  • Try eating small, frequent meals throughout the day
  • Avoid foods with refined sugar as these can make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid too much of stimulants in the form of tea or coffee.
  • Stay away from alcohol as much as you can
  • Expose yourself to sunlight for a few minutes every day. Healthy Vitamin D levels are known to keep depression at a bay.

(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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