Gut and Mental Health [Feeling low? Check out your diet!]

By Sally Evans

Feeling low? Check out your diet!  How what we eat directly affects how we think and feel.

Eating a healthy diet can have a range of benefits for our physical health, but did you know that it can also support good mental health and wellbeing? In recent years, research has shown that our diets play a crucial role in our mental health, and that consuming whole foods can have a range of positive effects.

A whole food is a type of food that has undergone minimal processing and has not been significantly altered from its original state. This means that the food retains its natural nutrients, fibre, and other beneficial elements.

Examples of whole foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Whole foods are typically rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and are an important part of a healthy diet.

Let’s explore how eating whole foods links directly to good mental health and wellbeing.

Nutrition and Mental Health

The nutrients we consume through our diet can directly impact our brain function, and as a result, our mood, emotions, and overall mental health. Consuming a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can provide a range of mental health benefits, including:

Reduced risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have shown that consuming a diet rich in whole foods can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Whole foods are rich in nutrients that support brain function, such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins.

Improved brain function: Whole foods are rich in nutrients that support cognitive function, such as antioxidants and healthy fats. Consuming a diet rich in these nutrients can improve memory, attention, and overall brain function.

Increased energy levels: Whole foods provide our bodies with sustained energy throughout the day, which can improve mood and reduce fatigue.

Improved gut health: Our gut health is closely linked to our mental health, and consuming whole foods can improve gut health by providing beneficial nutrients and supporting healthy gut bacteria.

In summary, consuming a diet rich in whole foods can provide a range of mental health benefits, including reduced risk of depression and anxiety, improved cognitive function, increased energy levels, and improved gut health.

While our diets are just one aspect of our mental health, making an effort to incorporate more whole foods into our meals can support our overall wellbeing and lead to a happier, healthier life.

Sally is Founder of LifeBuddy, an Organisational Psychologist and Certified Principal Business Psychologist