On Thursday 10th October is world mental health day. Studies have shown that at least one in four people will have a type of mental health problem at some point in their lives. This can be quite traumatic for some people, especially those who feel that they have never had a mental health problem in their lives.
Mental health can be diagnosed in many ways; however in relation to food and nutrition, it is important that a healthy balanced diet is maintained, especially when maintaining this condition. As diet full of high amounts of sugar, saturated fat and salt can cause various health problems, especially weight gain, which can lead to increased cholesterol levels, and becoming obese during the long term.
People may not be aware but consuming certain foods can have an effect on the way that we feel. This can be advantageous for people with various mental health issues, as certain foods can be packed full of vitamins, and minerals that can help to control the experiences of anxiety, Poor concentration, depression, and a poor memory. Not only that but a balanced diet with increased exercise can also help to loose weight, reduce the chances of having coronary heart disease, and reduce LDL cholesterol.
Eating healthily does not need to be expensive; it just requires swapping certain types of foods for healthier versions.
Swap full fat cream, mascarpone or cream cheese for lower fat versions. This could be anything from a Greek yoghurt, half fat cream, cottage or Greek cheese. Finally try to include some beans in the diet as well. Why not add some kidney beans to a curry? Or try to have baked beans on toast as a lunchtime meal instead?
The examples above contain an amino acid called Tryptophan. This is classed as an essential amino acid, as the body does not produce this, so it can only be accessed by consuming certain foods. The examples above would help to regulate the body's appetite, and sleep patterns.
As stated in previous articles, the UK population does not consume enough fibre in their diets. Fibre is essential for the regulation of the bowel, and to help to reduce cholesterol, which can help to reduce the chances of further heart problems during later life. Fibre can be found in wholegrain based foods including oats, brown rice, wholemeal and granary bread. Fibre can also be found in vegetables and fruit as well. Therefore it is best to snack on a piece of fruit instead of sweets, chocolates, and cakes. Some fibre based foods also contain B vitamins. B vitamins are essential as they do a variety of jobs from protecting the nervous system, to supporting the release of carbohydrates to produce energy. As B vitamins supports brain health, it is important to ensure that enough B vitamins are maintained, as lack of B vitamins can cause a poor memory. They can also be found in fish, nuts and seeds, and potatoes.
Overall regardless if there is a mental health issue involved, we can all improve our diets a little just by making one small change and a pledge. It could be anything from increasing the amount of exercise, to reducing the amount of sugar in a mug of tea from two sugars to one sugar. A small change that we could make would make a big difference into the way that we feel and think.
i am a qualified nutritional advisor with 4 years experience. I can support people with weight management issues and general wellbeing. You can view me on either my website on http://www.livelongrocks.co.uk.
Or you can view me on my blog http://www.livelongrocks.blogspot.com
Both of the above can help you with any nutritional support. Or if you have any queries you can, contact me through the websites above.
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