5 Dietary Rules to Promote Mental Health
Here you have five effective dietary principles to follow to support your mental health:
1. Regular meal schedules
Maintaining regular meal times helps to synchronize metabolic rhythm, while irregular meal times affect fat metabolism and digestion. Eating protein-rich meals early in the day supports energy and alertness while eating carbohydrates later in the day enhances relaxation and sleep.
2. Control your blood sugar levels
There is a relationship between mood problems and blood-sugar levels. Some symptoms of poor glycemic regulation are fatigue, irritability, mood swings, and anxiety. Diets that supply moderate to a high protein, plant proteins (beans/legumes, nuts, soy), "good fats", and are low in grains, will help manage your sugar levels. Also, sea salt supports adrenal function and helps to stabilize blood glucose. The timing of food is also important, people with unstable blood glucose could find beneficial to eat more often and smaller meals.
3. Find food intolerances and sensitivities
When you struggle with an ongoing, unidentified food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity, your body constantly sends out inflammatory responses that can cause harm in multiple ways. People are frequently unaware of their allergies or sensitivities because the effects may not be immediate but delayed for hours or days. Some of the non-digestive symptoms of food intolerance or sensitivities are brain fog, headaches, migraines difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. Finding what are the foods that you are reacting to, with the help of an expert in nutrition, will do a great deal on your mood and your overall health.
4. Decrease inflammation and oxidative stress
There are a variety of nutrients that act as antioxidants to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. Fresh whole foods, vegetables and fruits, and animal proteins fuel our cells. Fruits, vegetables, chocolate, tea, and "good fats" all decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. Eggs, olive oil, and blue and purple fruits like blueberries extinguish the inflammatory fires that contribute to mental problems. Also, carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens and red-orange foods, are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and they improve cognitive health.
5. Add B vitamins rich foods
Methylation is a very important chemical process that our bodies use to ensure our genes work properly. This process requires optimal levels of B vitamins to function efficiently, especially folate, which is found in leafy greens, lentils, sunflower seeds, broccoli, spinach, and almonds. Liver, garlic, onions, beets, and red wine also support the methylation process, as do choline-rich foods like eggs. At least one meal a day, preferably at mid-day, should include protein and a big bowl of leafy greens to fuel energy and mood throughout the day.
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