yellow-fragment Diet and mental health: Brain foods – what makes a difference and some yummy recipes.

Although traditionally food has provided us with energy and the building materials for our bodies, research suggests that food directly impacts our mental health (Gomez-Pinilla, 2008).canstockphoto5734863

The UK-based Mental Health Foundation suggests that good nutrition is essential for our mental health and that a number of mental health conditions may be influenced by dietary factors. They further suggest that one of the most obvious, yet under-recognized factors in mental health is the role of nutrition. As well as its impact on short and long-term mental health, the evidence indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Please refer to the following link for the full article:

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/D/diet/

The message is: what we eat affects our mental health. The Mental Health Foundation echo Gomez-Pinilla’s (2008) sentiments – notably, good nutrition can be just as important for our minds as it is for our bodies. If you find that your mood changes after meals and snacks, it may be that you’re lacking the nutrients that can help promote good mental health. The Mental Health Foundation provides a table to learn what your diet might be missing and what foods might make a difference to your mental health:

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/content/assets/PDF/159555/nutrients-table-rebranded.pdf

Once you have figured out what you might be missing, EatingWell.com have put together a number of delicious looking “Mood Boosting Recipes” which can be found here:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/mood_boosting_recipes?slide=1#leaderboardad

Happy eating! Now in Colour Psychological Services Inc.

Reference: Gómez-Pinilla, F. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 568-578 (July 2008).

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