Eating Right Good For Your Mind, Not Just Your Body

justin perich state of mindSome mental health professionals say that nutrition does not affect your mental health. However, as a culture we have all embraced poor eating habits and therefore, we may be ruling out nutrition in order to put the blame elsewhere for mental health issues.

Mental Health problems have become commonplace in our culture. We have become used to bizarre outbursts, breakdowns, ADD, and depression. Just as eating healthy helps our bodies operate more efficiently, it can also help the mind. A better diet that is full of nutrient dense food can improve cognitive ability, mood, and overall mental health. There is documentation to support the fact that nutritional wellbeing affects both your physical and mental health. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, also known as malnutrition makes the body susceptible to diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and metal illness.

The best way to support overall health and wellbeing is a diet filled with clean, whole foods. This means naturally grown, unprocessed foods without artificial or chemically changed additives. Whole foods have the most nutrients of any foods available and these nutrients positively affect both mind and body.

Without vitamins, like vitamin B, you can experience damage to your nervous system. This damage can lead to poor short-term memory, apathy, confusion, irritability, depression, fatigue, lethargy, headaches, and abnormal brain wave patterns. If you skip meals like breakfast or do not have a high enough caloric intake it can hinder your problem-solving abilities and your confidence. Eating too much sugar or artificial sweeteners can cause insulin resistance, mood swings, and depression.

The bottom line is that our food intake affects our behavior, mood, and brain function. Hunger can make us irritable or even restless; whereas a good meal improves mood and can make us feel satisfied and confident.

So to create a better diet for mental health, you need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid sugar, and drink lots of water. This combination of food will help you achieve both physical and mental health.

The Importance of Greenery

justin perich parkWell, it’s official. According to the latest scientific research, living in an area with a park or a garden has been statistically proven to improve your mental health.

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have recently put out a study in Environmental Science & Technology Magazine which tracked over a thousand people for five years–half of these subjects moved to an urban neighborhood with greenery and half moved to an urban neighborhood with no green spaces. The study used a questionnaire which evaluated depression, anxiety, and general thoughts, moods, and feelings.

The results showed that those who moved to areas with parks and gardens had prolonged mental health improvement after they moved, and those who moved to areas without greenery experienced a dip and then a return to normal. The findings match previous research, which has indicated that even spending in green space can relieve stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Urban planners and developers can take note, as the decision to include greenery in local communities could offer long-term benefits, but it’s also important for the rest of us to remember. In the busyness of our everyday lives, it’s important that we stop once every so often to smell the roses, literally.