Here’s How Your Diet Affects Your Mental Health
Keeping up with our health is critical to living a long, happy life. Often when we think of prioritizing our health, we think of our physical health. The fact is, though, our mental health is just as important. And just like physical health, it can be affected by a range of things: most notably, your diet.
Your diet is crucial to keeping your mental health in a good place, and leaving you feeling happy and energized throughout the day. Food directly impacts how you’re feeling on a daily basis.
Energy Levels Come From Food
Have you ever gone without eating for a while, and felt yourself feeling irritated? Well, that’s not in your head - how often you eat, as well as the things that you eat, can seriously impact your mood.
This is because your body produces energy based on the food you eat. If you don’t eat enough throughout the day, you’re likely to have low energy levels, leaving you feeling lethargic and unhappy. Additionally, depending on the quality of the food you eat, your mood is impacted - food that is high in vitamins and nutrients is likely to leave you feeling happy and energized as well as satisfied.
On the other hand, highly processed food is likely to give you some energy, but eventually crash and feel unhappy. These foods are likely to contribute to more feelings of depression and anxiety due to the impacts they have on your brain: they slow your brain functions and affect your insulin levels significantly.
Your Gut is Key
Many people assume happiness is all in our head - but, in reality, happiness is in the gut.
Surprisingly, 90% of our serotonin receptors are located in our gut. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for our overall mood: it contributes to feeling happy and content, and allows you to be able to sleep and digest well.
Additionally, our guts are filled with good bacteria that contribute to how we are feeling. Good food that’s rich in proper nutrients, like iron, zinc, and key vitamins, will maintain the good gut bacteria that helps our mental health. Highly processed food is likely to disrupt this good bacteria and cause us to feel irritated or sick.
Because of the impact food has on our overall mental health, we want to ensure we are prioritizing a good diet filled with rich ingredients and important nutrients that will help us produce more serotonin and maintain a good gut biome. One of the best ways to consistently ensure you are eating high-quality foods is following a vegan diet.
Vegan diets remove much of the unnecessary processed food, and help you to prioritize whole foods that are good for your body and your mental health. Most vegan diets consist of mainly healthy foods that are made with real ingredients that will benefit your overall well-being.
There are many ways a vegan diet can benefit your mental health as a whole:
Ingredients typically found in meat and animal products commonly cause inflammation in our bodies after ingesting them. This inflammation can affect our brains and how we process our emotions.
When you’ve got more inflammation in your body, you are likely to feel more stress and anxiety overall. Following a vegan diet can help you to avoid these inflammatory ingredients, reducing your stress levels overall.
Helps you focus
We’ve all heard that food is fuel. However, the right food is the best fuel when it comes to giving you the energy to be able to focus and accomplish your tasks throughout the day.
When we eat animal products, the more processed foods can cloud our minds and make it difficult to focus on the tasks at hand. For those with attention disorders, like ADHD, this can be even more severe.
Vegan diets have been seen to dramatically improve individuals’ focus, allowing them to mitigate some of the effects animal products may have. Research has shown those who followed a plant-based diet were up to 33% less likely to develop attention issues over time as opposed to those who did not.
Avoids depression & boosts mood
The right nutrients are key to keep ourselves happy and motivated throughout the day.
While some animal products and dishes may contain the nutrients we need to stay mentally well, largely these vitamins and nutrients are found in plant-based and vegan foods. Leafy greens, lentils and beans, hearty broths, and other nutritious ingredients are found to have the highest density of vitamins and minerals necessary to all-around better health.
Zinc, vitamin C and magnesium, among other nutrients, have been found to have tremendous positive effects on mental health. Studies have shown they decrease symptoms of poor mental health and leave many feeling overall better. Vegan diets that prioritize these ingredients and others are likely to lead to a more positive mood.
Eating the Right Vegan Food
Following a vegan diet is one of the best ways to boost your mental health through consuming the right ingredients filled with necessary vitamins and minerals. The key to a great vegan diet, though, is finding meals made with the right ingredients to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need.
If you’re looking for nutritious vegan foods and ingredients, take a look at our website here. We offer healthy vegan meals and ingredients filled with macrobiotics and made without GMOs, MSG or refined sugar. We have ready-to-eat vegan food to ensure you’re able to get the nutrients you need.
Improve your mental health and feel better overall by following a vegan diet. Reduce your stress, improve your focus and avoid depression and anxiety by nourishing your body with the right foods. Our easy-to-cook vegan food makes it simple to help your mental health so you can feel better sooner!