Positive benefits of eating healthily on mental health

Often overlooked when thinking about ways to combat mental health is the power of food. Studies into the correlation between the consumption of “junk food” and mental health problems. With this in mind, here are three positive impacts eating healthily may potentially have on your mental health.

Neurotransmitter production

Neurotransmitters which help communicate important messages from our digestive system to our brains are helped along when we consume healthy food. Both Dopamine and Serotonin, which are important mood regulators, can be easily communicated to the brain due to the healthy food helping the growth of bacteria which in turn helps an abundant growth of neurotransmitters. A good production of mood-related chemicals means that your overall mental wellbeing is uplifted as opposed to the opposite effect when we eat unhealthily. However, it’s always important to have a balance and not be overly critical when you may have eaten something deemed unhealthy.

Improves self-esteem

When we feel like we are properly fuelling our bodies and eating foods that are healthy and full of important nutrition, this is reflected in how we feel about ourselves. Chiefly, research points to a better perception of body image which is interlinked with what we decide to eat. The knowledge that you are actively choosing a healthier food alternative is something that can create massive improvements in self-confidence and help to mitigate certain insecurities and self-esteem issues you may possess. This has been found to be regardless of body type and has more to do with the internal relationship between brain and body and how these two things work symbiotically together.

Learning to cook

Perhaps not what might initially be associated with healthier food choices is the potential to learn and cook new recipes, and how this can feed into a positive mindset. As well as an acquired skill, integrating cooking into a lifestyle change is part of the process of taking control, having the power to make something tailored to your body’s needs will go towards boosting your mood. Whereas your mental health might not always allow you the ability to feel in control, cooking healthy and invigorating meals for yourself can go a long way in helping you to feel empowered.

Whilst there are many different ways to improve your mental wellbeing, diet is something that is closely and crucially linked to the functioning of the brain and the chemicals within the brain which regulate mood. Therefore, eating a healthier diet can be a great, direct way in which you can try and maintain a positive mindset.

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