You are what you eat. Diet plays a crucial role in our overall health. While we tend to lay focus on just the physical aspect of our overall well-being, we tend to neglect its direct association with mental health. Opting for a healthy diet is the best thing one can do for their body; be it concerning internal systemic health or weight. According to a study carried out in 2014, the healthiest people were those who maintained a good diet with lots of vegetables and fruits. However, an often-overlooked aspect of this phenomenon is irregular eating habits.
Owing to our busy schedules, we often find ourselves skipping meals or opting to have them much later during the day. When it comes down to health, it is not always about what we eat, but it also comes down to when you eat it. Irregularly times meals are a recipe for disaster as they predispose our bodies to not only obesity but various systemic problems such as diabetes, hypertension, and also, mental illness. Eating without a schedule messes up with our body’s internal clock.
– Irregular Eating Habits and Mental Health
Regardless of our calorie count, eating habits and patterns play an integral role in our health. A study concluded that individuals with regularly timed eating schedules reported less obesity, lower cholesterol levels, well-maintained insulin levels and stable blood pressure as compared to individuals with no scheduled meal plan. Owing to the effect of irregular eating habits on our physical health, it would be imprudent to not consider its impact on our mental well-being.
Mental health problems are a rather complex phenomenon that can result from various causes. Poor mental health is a common finding in people with financial struggles, deprived resources, and poor physical health. Lack of adequate nutrition plays as much of an essential role in this matter as do any of the factors mentioned above. A diet with high levels of saturated fats, refined carbs, and processed foods reported poor mental health in both children and adults.
A healthy mind is one that is fueled by good nutrients. These brainpower boosting foods are also sometimes referred to as superfoods. Rich in nutrients, these foods have magical healing powers making them excellent tools to manage mental health. Braintest reviews reveal that people with the healthiest minds are the ones with the best diets rich in superfoods.
Proper diet is essential for mental health, but it does by no means imply that a healthy diet can cure mental health-related issues. They can, however, play an integral role in mental health management and eventually contribute to the betterment of symptoms. Many foods have been linked to reducing the risk associated with illnesses like depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia.
– How Physical Health affects Mental Health
Our physical and mental health are connected with one influencing the other. Mental fatigue is linked to physical fatigue, therefore, staying physically fit also means staying mentally fit. Physically fit older adults exhibit bigger hippocampi and improved special memory as compared to those who are not as fit. The hippocampus deals with memory and thinking thus concluding that incorporating more exercise into your routine helps improve brain health. Exercise releases endorphins into the blood. Endorphins are said to be natural antidepressants that in turn release other neurotransmitters that help improve one’s mood.
Similar to exercise, diet plays an essential role in physical health by not only keeping any weight symptoms at bay but also keeping us internally fit. Improved blood pressure, maintained insulin levels, lowered cholesterol and inflammation instantly means an immediately reduced risk of developing certain illnesses. Mentally, a healthy diet helps keep our blood sugar and energy in check. Healthy foods invoke clear thinking and better brain health by providing the body with essential as well as additional nutrients.
So how does regular eating help us? Here’s how.
– Benefits of Regular Mealtimes
Psychological: Regular mealtimes invoke a sense of rhythm in our lives. Circadian rhythms lay focus on the body’s 24-hour clock and adjust physiological responses to different stimuli times. Staying true to timings and a proper schedule invokes a sense of familiarity and containment. As creatures of habit, humans enjoy structure, routine, and security. Regular and shared meals are the best way to take a break from your busy schedule and focus on yourself. When you choose to prioritize a meal over any other engagement, your mind focuses on just that. An excellent way to rejuvenate both physically and mentally, regular meals help you unwind and relax thereby benefitting your mental health.
Physiological: The circadian rhythm cycle also plays a vital role in regulating multiple processes of the GI tract such as cell proliferation, permeability, homeostasis, microbial balance as well as metabolism. Regular meals give us GI tract the rhythm it needs to function at its best. There are particular times of the day when our metabolism works best such as during the day, and there are times when our system is particularly slow, such as during night time. Focusing on those aspects alone, to digest food better and help you become healthier, regular meals can be beneficial.
Social: Regular meals are great for your social skills as they help you interact with one another. Shared regular meals help you take a break from other activities and substitute it for engaging conversation. This gives your mind a break and allows you to feel more included and connected to those around you.
There are multiple ways in which we can work towards having a healthy mind. Diet is one of those crucial factors that help not just our body but also our mind stay fit and positive. Irregular meals might seem harmless at the moment, but in the long run, they are more damaging than what meets the eye. Invoking a positive change in our schedules and meal times can change the way our bodies and minds operate. Make this little change to avoid having to deal with potentially dangerous health conditions.