Diet – You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” at some point during your life. And, while those who eat bananas don’t physically become bananas, if we avoid taking this proverb in the literal sense, we can unpack what it actually means.
The food you put into your body has a huge effect on your overall health and well-being. In fact, a poor diet is often one of the primary causes of poor health, and this only worsens over time if you don’t make efforts to modify your diet.
Your diet not only affects your physical health, but it can also significantly affect your mental health as well. It’s not uncommon for the elderly who have practiced poor diet habits to find themselves in the hospital or having to be admitted to nursing homes where they might endure suffering from neglect or abuse. And all of this can be mitigated through adopting a proper diet.
Here, we’ll explore how food plays a role in mental health and how to modify your diet.
While you may love those tasty snacks that all children beg for, most of the mass-produced snack foods in the United States are full of ingredients that hold little to no nutritional value.
Snacks such as potato chips, cookies, candy, and the like are all extremely high in sugar and fat content, and these are largely thought to be a primary cause of obesity and diabetes found within children and adults.
Even the smallest nutrient deficiency can cause a multitude of mental health issues. For instance, vitamin B12 is needed for proper brain functioning, iodine produces hormones that balance our mood, and magnesium helps with chronic stress. Without these essential vitamins and nutrients, our bodies will not function properly and quickly start to break down.
That’s not necessarily saying that you have to eat all foods that have every single vitamin and nutrient you need, because that would be practically impossible. But because we don’t always consume the proper amount of nutrients our bodies need, it would be worth it to talk to your doctor about daily intake of multivitamins so that your body will get everything it needs even if you don’t get it in the foods you eat.
So, instead of reaching for those snacks, consult a food chart and look to improve your health by introducing foods that aren’t full of fat and sugar. Stick to the primary food groups and ensure that you’re eating well-balanced portions.
At the end of the day, even removing just one of those high-fat or sugary snacks from your diet can drastically improve your overall health. And with the addition of health supplements, you will start to feel the positive benefits of your vitamin consumption.
Our primitive ancestors didn’t have the luxury of seasoning or picking and choosing what they wanted to eat or snack on each day. For thousands of years, a human being’s diet consisted largely of the available fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and legumes that grew wild.
These natural foods are still around today thankfully, and they’re probably available at your local supermarket. No need for foraging for these delicious, nutrient-rich foods.
In addition to introducing fruits and vegetables into your diet, you can also ensure that the produce and food that you buy is free from any alteration by chemicals and preservatives, which in itself can improve your health.
Stay Away From Fast-Food
We have all been accustomed to the convenience of modern society since we were born into this world. In fact, unless you’re over the age of 60 or have lived on a farm, you probably don’t know what it’s like to grow all of your own food or make your ingredients from scratch.
With the presence of convenience in our lives, fast food restaurants are a huge part of the American diet. Unfortunately, this is the worst diet ever, and the food is largely substandard and lacks the nutritional benefits that you’d find if you cooked meals at home.
Though many of us lead busy lives, and stopping off at a fast food restaurant is easy when we’re on the go, this should largely be avoided and not introduced as a staple in your diet.
In addition, fast food chains are a huge contributor to the amount of waste that’s introduced into the environment, especially when you consider the vast amount of styrofoam and single-use plastic that the average fast food chain throws away on a daily basis.
Your diet greatly influences not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. Without the proper nutrients in your body each day, you run the risk of developing debilitating conditions that can worsen as you age, especially if you don’t take measures to modify your diet.