Posted May 18, 2018
“You are what you eat,” health experts often say. And it’s true. Your body uses nutrients from the foods you eat to provide fuel for daily activities. Now researchers report that your diet also can affect your mental health. Here’s how food and medication can impact emotional health.
1. Unsubstantiated advice– For years, people have created remedies and diets designed to fix a dismal outlook or improve mood. Most of these recommendations feature trendy foods, supplements, and recipes that are not based on valid scientific research. Remember, if it sounds too good or too easy to be true, it probably is. Contact your doctor for a medical opinion.
2. Nutritional psychiatry– A relatively new area of study, nutritional psychiatry experts focus on how diet and mental health work together. Through research they’ve determined that eating healthy foods can help prevent depression.
For people struggling with emotional health problems, scientists recommend a diet of nutrient-filled plant-based foods and lean proteins, such as blueberries, garlic, kale, seaweed, potatoes, beans, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts, skinless chicken, salmon, and lean ground beef or pork.
Studies are ongoing to explore whether a healthy diet can improve mental health for those diagnosed with depression. However, we do know that the brain needs vitamin B, C and D, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and water to perform at its best.
3. Prescription medication– Medical studies have shown that antidepressants are an effective treatment for depression. However, since mental health problems are different for each person, a medical professional should diagnose the specific condition, recommend the best treatments, and monitor the results.