Nowadays, almost everyone has a hectic schedule, whether long working hours in the office or household chores, which sometimes leads to more anxiety, stress, and depression. In these Modern times, the consumption of unhealthy food has a major impact on our mental health.
Food is the main fuel for the body as it provides us all the nutrients such as carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, and Minerals. These Nutrients play an important role in maintaining physical and mental health. One may choose food according to his tradition and culture. So this shows that eating has an emotional component as well. People develop certain eating habits for so long without realizing that these are “unhealthy”. And these habits become a part of life without thinking so much.
‘what we eat and how we feel’ have a strong connection. The food we eat has an impact on the structure and health of our brain. If we follow unhealthy food patterns it leads to nutritional imbalances and blood sugar fluctuations.
However, some unhealthy eating patterns cause mood swings and disturb emotional well being.
Here are some unhealthy food habits which influence our mood:-
1) Munching more on processed and high carbs foods: High intake of refined foods like bread, pastries, and french fries, cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar which leads to low energy and irritability.
2) Skipping the meals: This has an impact on blood sugar especially breakfast as it is the main meal of the day, it leaves you weak and tired.
3) Not having variety in the foods: Some people stick to a particular pattern for so long and have no variety of foods which leads to deficiencies of some essential nutrients. Low levels of zinc, iron, magnesium, and omega fatty acid are associated with worsening mood and decreased energy levels.
4) Drinking more coffee, carbonated, and energy drinks: These drinks contain caffeine. It is a stimulant that provides us quick energy. But excessive intake of caffeine makes you anxious and less deprived of sleep.
5) Eating fewer protein foods: Protein contains amino acids that make certain chemicals which the brain requires to regulate our thoughts and feelings. Protein also provides us longer satiety.
6) You eat because you are emotional: Due to emotional stress, you binge on comfort food. In the end, you stuff yourself with unhealthy foods.
We all have to still learn that healthy dietary patterns have a positive impact on mental health. Some changes in our regular eating patterns support our mental health. Which are mentioned below:
1) Eating at regular intervals.
2) Include more colored vegetables and fruits in your plates as they are antioxidant-rich which uplift your moods.
3) Instead of coffee choose green tea, fruit juices, or drink plenty of water.
4) Include more protein at each meal. Protein sources are eggs, meats, legumes, and soy products.
5) choose healthy snacking options like nuts, seeds, and trail mixes.